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Great Decisions Require Great Information

August 11, 2023
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It goes without saying that teachers have a huge impact on the children they teach. I have six children myself and they can still name the teachers they had eight years ago. My daughter’s love of reading was facilitated by Mrs. O who knew how to recommend the perfect science fiction books for her. Today she has an interest in both fiction and science, and Mrs. O played a major role. One reason why Mrs. O is such a good teacher is that she made the effort to get to know my daughter; she learned what my daughter liked and did not like, and used that knowledge to further my daughter’s interest. Mrs. O was an expert advisor because she took the time to gather information about the people she gave advice to. I am a strong believer that if you give teachers great information they can make great decisions.

These days teachers have been through the ringer. If you are a teacher, I applaud you and thank you for all you have done over the last few years. Saying we asked teachers to pivot through this pandemic is an understatement.

In this post pandemic era, teachers are now faced with new student behavior challenges that no one could have predicted. Principals who have been in the industry for over 15 years have frequently mentioned how they are seeing behavior they have never seen before. Students have spent the last two years isolated, dealing with major changes in schooling, learning in their pajamas, and sometimes even with a bowl of dry cereal on their lap! Now they are back in school and we need to help them with their reentry.

I recently asked a Principal why they were looking at implementing SmartPass and their response was “desperation.”  Some students no longer have the urgency they once did to get to class on time. They are texting to meet up in bathrooms and stairwells and wandering the halls. The result is less time in the classroom and a decrease in instructional time.

Teachers need to know who is in the hall, how often students are leaving class, and how much time students are spending out of the classroom in order to help their students reengage in a productive classroom experience. We need to give our teachers great information so they can make great decisions.

Britt White

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