Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 21 of the 21 Day Daily Data Challenge

DAY 21!!!  Woo hoo!  We made it!  I have to say it hasn't been easy, but the accountability of posting my data journey each day has kept me going.  Today is about sharing your outcome.  What did you measure and what does your data show in terms of student growth or improvement?  Maybe you increased study skills or student attendance or decreased discipline referrals or student tardies.  Whatever you measured, whatever you did, NOW is the time to create a flashlight package and shine the light on what you have accomplished.  NOW is the time to get out there and BRAG, yes BRAG, about the effectiveness of your School Counseling program!  NOW is the time to politely let your administration know how students are different because of what you as a School Counselor have done.  Tell your administration, and faculty, if you have the chance, "Look at the improvement our students made in this area in which I did this program.  Just think of how I can impact these other areas (name them off because you know your data) with more of my time focused on School Counseling related duties."  And that's how the miracle begins!

The Flashlight Package
The flashlight package is the way you share your program results to demonstrate the success of your efforts. But how do you present the flashlight package and what should it look like?  In chapter 11 of her book, The Use of Data in School Counseling, Trish Hatch gives us an outline.  She suggests creating a PowerPoint presentation no longer that 10 minutes containing the information listed below.  

1) Name of presentation, school, and School Counselor
2) ASCA standards addressed
3) Identified need and lesson/intervention to address it
4) Relevant research
5) Process data, the who, what, when, and how of this activity  (if intentional guidance specify target and selection criteria)
6) Sample graphs of pre/post test data (perception data)
7) Show how achievement related data are linked to perception data and the targeted achievement indicator
8) Graphs of Achievement data related to the activity
9) Summarize main points of lesson
10) Next steps or improvement planned
11) Thank you slide to acknowledge contributions of teachers and staff who support the School Counselor

As I stated in previous posts, I am behind on my 21 Day Daily Data Challenge because I decided to measure my work with a group of students I am already seeing.  Because of this, my "flashlight package" is not ready to share.  However, when I complete my group in 2 weeks, I will post my experiences with Day 20 and 21.  

What I've Learned
The 21 Day Daily Data Challenge has been a significant growth experience for me.  I have learned about my personal strengths and weaknesses in analyzing data.  I have also learned much more about my school than I ever imagined.  By uncovering details revealed in the data,  I now  have clear goals to address previously unknown needs at my school.  I am forever grateful to Dr. Trish Hatch whose inspirational keynote speeches and her book, The Use of Data in School Counseling, have propelled me along this path. I have learned much but have also come to realize how much more there is to learn.  I was unconsciously unskilled. I am now consciously unskilled and working hard to build my skills so I can reach the level of consciously skilled.  I think unconsciously skilled is quite a distance in my future, but it is something to which I aspire.

If you would like to learn more about the 21 Day Daily Data Challenge you can read about it HERE and follow my journey each day.  If you have been participating and have comments or results to share I would really LOVE to see them. Please share them on the Exploring School Counseling Facebook page.

Review this Challenge
Please do me a huge favor and share your comments below regarding the 21 Day Daily Data Challenge.  I would love to  know how I can improve this challenge.  I am also curious to hear about your experiences!  Did you start, get part of the way through, run into difficulty of just give out of energy?  Was the data hard to get?  Did you lack the skills to analyze it effectively? Were you unable to make sense of it all?  Was the challenge too long?  Would fewer days have been better?  If you started then stopped please share what happened.  If wanted to start but didn't, what got in your way?  What would have made this challenge doable for you? 

My goal in issuing this challenge was threefold.  First, to force myself to get in the data and take a really close look at the needs of my school.  Secondly, to help others who may not have had data training in their Master's program (like me!) to get involved with what is currently happening in our profession.  And third, to encourage my School  Counselor colleagues, who are doing a lot of non-counselor duties, to begin to take the steps needed to show, with data, the difference School Counselors can make.

We must become data driven to prove the effectiveness of our school counseling programs and the value we offer our schools in terms of services to students.  Like it or not, the data is what validates everything we say and do.  It is the bottom line for which every legislator, administrator, and taxpayer is looking.  So show them!  Show them how students are different because of what School Counselors do!

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