Noteworthy Voices 2-MIN. READ

Extraordinary Educators Share Instruction Strategies

By: Sari Laberis 03/14/2023
Learn from Nationally Recognized Extraordinary Educators.
A group of educators at the 2022 Extraordinary Educators summer conference.

Wrapping your head around your classroom data can be daunting. There are often many data points, and you want to consider the whole child when planning instruction. But data is a critical tool that can help you meet every student where they are, expose them to grade-level content, and drive student growth.

Across the country, the 2023 class of Extraordinary Educators is making headlines about their passion for instruction based on their students’ data. Here’s what these educators had to say.

Amanda Price, a teacher at Taylor Elementary School in Tennessee, was featured on She thinks data is the “road map to successful instruction in [her] classroom.” She says: “I use data to ensure that while I am meeting the needs of all students, I am also challenging the students who have already demonstrated mastery.”

The Idaho Press spotlighted Courtney Linker, a teacher at Melba Jr./Sr. High School in Idaho, on its front page. “Although various factors may impact student performance, data collected from Comprehension Checks and other assessments allow for more effective and efficient planning, as it provides specific feedback,” she says.

Cassie Kelcher, a teacher at Riverbend Prep in Arizona, was showcased on When thinking about student data, she says, it’s “a valuable tool for learning, but it’s not the 'end all be all.' Data is useful when used along with standards, curriculum, and student interests.”

Felecia Young, a teacher at Knox Middle School in North Carolina, was featured in the Salisbury Post. She says she’s “excited to collaborate with other educators to learn new strategies to help students grow.” Felecia considers data “the GPS for each child’s educational journey. It provides pit stops, U-turns, and detours to help them reach their final destination.”

Laura Bryant, a dual-language teacher at Central Elementary School in New Mexico, was spotlighted in The Las Cruces Bulletin. Laura is “always looking for different ways of thinking, breaking molds, and learning from others.” Her student data “allows her to make informed decisions on concepts, skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to learning.”

In 107.7 The Lake, Sarah Barthel, a teacher at Beiger Elementary School in Indiana, emphasizes student ownership and the importance of understanding their individual data and goals. She explains: “With my support, students can see their scores and chart their personal growth. This is very exciting and motivating for them.”

In Coastal Today Magazine, Steven Spoljaric, a teacher at Bayless Junior High in Missouri, explains: “I have extraordinary students with whom I have had the pleasure to work and learn alongside.” Steven sits down with each of his students to set goals. “This is where you are now, this is what you have done, this is where you need to get to later. What are you going to do between now and later?” he asks.

Finally, Jasmine Lane, a teacher at James E. Plew Elementary School in Florida, was recently spotlighted on Get the Coast. She’s “looking forward to learning new strategies to implement that will continue to bridge gaps in learning and provide enrichment to [her] students who need to be challenged.” Jasmine uses data to “meet [her] students where they are and plan around their needs.”

To hear more about the power of student data and how it impacts instruction, check out these episodes of our Extraordinary Educators Podcast: Filling the Gaps with Hanna Grayson and The Human Side of Data Analysis with Brooklin Trover.