Building your teaching playbook


Like many of you teachers out there, I spent a lot of time recently preparing for the new school year.  At home, it began with the therapeutic organization of children's rooms.  As I sat amid in outgrown clothes, last year’s school work, and books to donate, I braced myself and made one last sweep under my rising seventh grade son’s bed.  Yes, I found the inevitable dust bunnies and a couple of socks we thought the dryer ate, but it was what else I found that gave me pause.

It was a well-worn five-subject notebook labeled, THE PLAYBOOK.  The five dividers were labeled:  Football, Basketball, Baseball, Players, and Important.  Each section held elaborate drawings of plays and detailed notes about them.  I was intrigued by the intricate plays he designed and the involved thought processes that went into them. I know he is serious about all sports, but this--this was powerful stuff!  Later, when I asked him about the book, this was his answer.

“Mom," he said, “you never know when you might be called in to coach the team, and every good coach knows you have to be prepared."

"So, I have to be armed and ready with plays.  I have to know my players, their stats, and what they are likely to do.   I need options in case a play doesn’t work.  I have to be prepared to coach at any moment and under any circumstance," he explained.

Wow!  My 12-year old son was too young to play on the school team, so he spent time at practices and at games keeping statistics, watching, and assessing--just in case he ever had to coach the team. He knows that good coaches build playbooks.  They build on experience, knowledge of their players, data and statistics, collaboration, and video reflection.

And teachers are exactly that – good coaches.  What does your teacher’s playbook look like?  How can SAS EVAAS help to build your playbook?

Here are some ideas:

Pulling together your roster:  You can place all of the students in a class/period in one location, build custom reports and access each student’s individual report.

Good Coaches know their team roster and design plays based on both the team and the individual player.

Accentuating strengths, improving weaknesses: Individual student reports allow for you to be both reflective and proactive.  You can easily see a student’s testing history and trends, and identify possible interventions to use early in the school year.  You can also access individual student score projections for  future state assessments and college readiness indicators.  This feature is a great way to determine necessary interventions, to build collaborative groups and to help each student grow academically.  Peer reviews for the United States Department of Education show that EVAAS projections three years out are more accurate than simply using last year’s scores to determine projected proficiency.

The ability to understand a player’s past and projected future performance helps coaches push each athlete to his or her full potential.

A winning game plan:  This report provides a snapshot of college readiness for a specific grade level.  This allows for schools collectively, as well as you individually, to  consider ways to enhance college readiness skills throughout the school year.  With this report, you are also able to drill down to look at specific students to better implement interventions and best practices, and increase the college readiness of your students.

If a cross country coach sees a runner’s potential, he can better design a training plan to help the runner improve to run collegiately.

Using SAS EVAAS reports can help you begin to develop your playbook.  These reports can also help you do things like plan a useful seating chart, construct cooperating learning groupings, but perhaps most importantly grow professionally…a victory for you and your students Best of luck as you start this school year and work to grow each student!


About Author

Jennifer Bell

Customer Account Executive

Hello! I’m Jennifer Bell. I’m a wife, mother of four, and avid runner who loves to laugh! I am a NC Teaching Fellows graduate of Meredith College and am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Before coming to SAS I served the public schools of North Carolina as a National Board Certified teacher and data coach for 15 years. As an education nerd and passionate teacher at heart, my role at SAS as an education specialist is a perfect fit. Working with schools, districts and states to use data to drive school improvement and improve student outcomes allows me to continue to champion every student.

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