In education, we don’t have a lack of data. In fact, sometimes we have so much that it can be overwhelming, particularly for educators who aren’t naturally inclined to look at numbers and make sense of them.
The data that we have also tends to be somewhat dehumanized. We can see, for example, that reading scores are dropping, but if that’s occurring because students are anxious about something happening in their world, we’re likely to miss the root cause because we don’t often collect data about how our students are feeling.
To address this issue, my colleague Mike Setaro, principal atKent Elementary Schoolin New York, and I began using what we refer to as “warm data,” which is simply social and emotional data. Here’s a brief explanation of how I use warm and cold data, and how collecting humanizing data can help districts better serve their students.