Being an effective academic counselor means responding to student achievements and challenges – fast.
While working as a teacher in Chicago, I hacked together an Excel application that helped me quickly identify students who were struggling and improving.
From 2012-2013, I worked as a teacher, mentor and academic counselor to 30 young men in at Urban Prep Academies in Chicago's underserved Englewood neighborhood.
Keeping up with 30 students' grades is tough. When most of your day is spent planning lessons, grading papers, and counseling students, it's difficult to keep up with more than high-level, classwide metrics. But to harness individual student motivation, it's essential to see the peaks and valleys of student's week-to-week grades.
What if I could "flag" students in the classes where their grades were climbing or declining? This would help me re-focus my energy each week, based on where my intervention could have the greatest impact.
The application looked at trends in student grades, and flagged those most in need of assistance, encouragement, and congratulations.