On Everything I HATE About Data-Driven Teaching 

 “I’m being a leaf, I can float in the sky,                                    Look at me dance, watch me fly”.

“That’s nice dear but please take heed,

You must sit down, it’s time to read.

You haven’t achieved what the plan is for you,

I must intervene and dictate what you do.

There are phonemes and graphemes with action and sound;

Segment them and blend them and prove what you’ve found.

Your data is sketchy,  you know that it’s true; 

And this all reflects what I knew about you.” 

 “This sand is so sprinkly, it falls like the rain,                           I’m watching it sprinkle again and again”.

“That’s nice dear, but what did I say?

The learning objective was how much does it weigh?

You haven’t achieved what the plan is for you, 

I must intervene and dictate what you do. 

For shape, space and measure I must show that you know; 

What’s heavy, what’s light, what’s fast and what’s slow.

So pour in the sand and record what you find,

And try and be quick, we are falling behind.

Your data needs ticking, we need to move through,  

And that’s what I value the most about you”

 “I’m being a pirate and this is my boat,                                I’m mending a hole so it will float.”

“That’s nice dear but don’t forget,

The point of this task is NOT to get wet.

You haven’t achieved what the plan is for you,

I must intervene and dictate what you do.

The water was only to look at and think,

About what things are floating and what things might sink.

So let’s just predict and forget about play;

Splashing and pirates are not for today.

Your data is awful, your progress is too

And this paints the picture I have of you.” 

   “There are 17 areas you must reach,

No pressure, but data is proof I can teach.

So jump through that hoop and let’s make a start,

Let’s tick that box,

Let’s plot that chart.

Come quickly and show me with numbers to 10,

Count backwards and forwards and back again.

Can you jump? Can you hop?

Are your words nice and clear?

Do you have many friends?

Do you know how to share?

Does how you work reflect what you know?

Do you take risks and what does this show?

This piece of data is absolute proof;

No word of a lie, it’s the God’s-honest truth.

Productivity’s low,

That is quite clear,

This must improve by the end of the year.

Direction and focus are something you lack, 

Attendance and time-keeping often quite slack.

Let’s set some targets,

Let’s  raise the bar,

Or the way things are going you’ll never get far.

This data has highlighted what we must do,

And it’s everything I need to know about you”.


Author, Luisa Giordano@teachingtinyminds

(Parental consent was obtained for these photos. I am the parent, I consented).



17 thoughts on “On Everything I HATE About Data-Driven Teaching 

  1. Great to stumble upon your poem. Brilliant.

    I taught Middle School for 7 years and burned out.
    I hate, I despise, and look forward to the demise
    of the data-driven society. (sigh…)
    God never intended for humankind to live this way.


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