In today’s society, everyone wants to see the proven research, the statistical data, and any other kind of information that proves educators are being held accountable in the classroom and playing field. Yes, I agree, people need to be accountable, but at the same time my experiences always seem to be what make a difference in how I approach teaching and coaching, which I feel are both needed when working with students and others in the world of education. In my 19 years of teaching and coaching, I have found that my intuition has proven to be great resource for me and others.
Here are FIVE thoughts about RESEARCH, DATA, and MY EXPERIENCES:
1. Research and Data have never taught me how to build a relationship with students or players.
2. Research and Data can be manipulated in seconds, but gaining the trust of students and players takes many experiences.
3. My EXPERIENCES have taught me to understand the situation of another instead of basing my actions and reactions on numbers and statistics.
4. My EXPERIENCES have given me the feedback needed when approaching students and players throughout a number of learning experiences.
5. My EXPERIENCES have allowed me to develop a practical approach in terms of dealing with students, parents, administration, and the community. Research and Data percentages only deal with numbers instead of individual emotions.
Now, this list could be longer, and maybe it needs to be or should be for those who believe in Research and Data. I don’t know. What I do know and understand is that a good educator will not analyze the list. Instead, they will think back on their own experiences by reflecting on similar situations. Once the moment of reflection is completed, the individual will then start applying what they have read into their daily teachings by making it have meaning in their own lives, as well the lives of others.
If you don’t have the experiences yet, don’t worry, there are plenty of educators willing to help and share if given the opportunity. Many will have the ability to share both data and experiences, but make sure the latter is what you use to guide your educational practices. Matter of fact, a novice educator could probably collect data and research on the number of experiences given to them by an entire faculty, which would be a meaningful experience in itself.