Why and What Teachers Should Document

Sometimes it may seem like a waste of time, but documentation is necessary for all teachers.

Documentation: A Teacher’s Life Boat

You may have heard this before....Document! Document! Document!  Seasoned teachers may have told you to document everything. You may even feel that they were exaggerating, but take what you have heard seriously and document. It is only a matter of time before you will learn that your excellent instructional practices will not keep you afloat when your hard work is questioned. Without effective documentation, teachers risk losing their jobs and being held liable in court. 

Why is it so Important?

You may have gone over and above the call of duty to help a specific student. You may have provided interventions, adjusted seating and instructional strategies, and contacted parents but if you do not have the documentation to support what you have done your word is only hearsay and holds no ground in court and will not hold up to scrutiny if a parent files a complaint.  If a teacher's documentation is accurate, a teacher can easily prove what they have done for their students. Additionally, data from documentation will show student progress and gains and will bring encouragement for the students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Quality documentation will not only keep you afloat it will make you and your students shine! 

What to Document? 

The more documentation the better. Make sure you have included behavior, parent conferences, accommodations, modifications, special education support, student academic progress, individualized instructional strategies, etc.