I spent the last three days in a Teachers 21 workshop – Using Data to Improve Student Achievement. Four teachers from our school attended together, which moved the workshop from being a good experience to amazing! We learned how to navigate several different data sources, strategies to make an overwhelming amount of data manageable, templates to help us dig deeper and create next steps, and time to use these resources to make sense of our school’s data. By being there with a team, we worked through the data together, made observations, inferences, and discovered some glaring problems. We each could have identified these problems beforehand based on anecdotes and experiences, but seeing it represented in data made it so much more powerful. Instead of being based in a feeling, our conclusions were based on facts. It was another example of how vital it is to have the time to dig into data as a team. We left with some great products to bring back to our school that summarize our three days of work in an organized and presentable fashion. We also have some preliminary action steps to address what we found and to hit the ground running in September. Data can be overwhelming and scary to a lot of teachers. Over and over I see that time is most valuable resource for a teacher. We had three solid days to learn about data together and each one of us left excited about the work we did and asking about how and when we can do this again!