A Principal Asks… PowerWalks Groupings

A Principal who just recently started using PowerWalks on her campus asks the following question:

SC,
I love the PowerWalks system and the reporting function is completely awesome.  We now have enough data in the system to start meeting with teachers to look for trends.  We also want to run some group / team reports to see if bigger patterns are evident.  My question is this: Are there particular groupings that you recommend or that you know are the most useful?

SC Response Great question. And you are right, the ability to create game film for teachers changes the entire dynamic of teacher coaching and support.  It is amazing what we are able to improve or fix when we can actually see the issue.

When it comes to groupings, the groups that are selected and/or created are based entirely on the needs of the individual campus.  Commonly used groupings include:

  • Grade level
  • Content area
  • Pods
  • Vertical teams

In certain instances, I have also used groups made up of:

  • Rookies
  • Teachers with high failure rates
  • Teachers with low failure rates
  • Department chairs
  • Coaching staff

Remember, the purpose of groupings is to show a team how the team is doing relative to the campus.  But it is never appropriate to show an individual teacher how he or she is doing relative to another teacher or group.  

As an instructional coach, I need to have the ability to easily disaggregate date in order to identify trends, patterns and anomalies.  As such, you should change the groups you use whenever you believe you need to change groups.  You never know where you will find a new and relevant hidden pattern.

I hope this helps.

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