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This is what I’m doing, how can I improve?

November 5, 2017

Ive been thinking a lot about feedback. About seeking it, acting upon it and about giving it. Im not superlative at either.

This week, I have been giving feedback to over 35 online IBPYP online facilitators using our facilitator criteria that is pretty open with areas such as communication, empathy, knowledge expertise etc. Of course finding specific examples and giving a nugget of advice is standard, as is perhaps asking that question to extend thinking and reflection.  But what if it was flipped- in that it was just a part of what we do on our own? We ask learners to self evaluate all the time so why dont teachers? We know what we are doing well (or need to improve on).

Of course this is ‘one more thing to do’ but over the past month I decided to try it out. Almost each time I taught a lesson, or had a learner in for iTime in the Makerspace I made some observations/notes that followed these guidelines:

Tip: record it and ask questions

  • What feedback did I give (if any)
  • How did I enhance this child’s learning
  • What could I do better next time in terms of guidance- extension

What I realised is the importance of giving feedback and that its a skill. Are we teaching our learners to give quality feedback?  Can WE give quality feedback?Its a practised skill that can be done through many ways like blogs, commenting on blogs, feedback on others work, critical thinking and reasoning…

It takes time but thinking is hard and takes time.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2017 2:49 pm

    This is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately.
    When I have observations I get positive feedback, but, like you, I am teaching in a medium that is foreign to most teachers and looks good even when it fails. I find that the feedback given to me by my line leaders is great work and keep doing what you are doing, but I am being forced to be the one who is critical on my teaching (something that I know most of us do anyway).
    I have just started using Flip Grid as a way for students to feed back on my lessons, especially the ones where I am still a learner myself like Mindstorms. I have given the students basic scripted questions of ‘What went Well, what did you enjoy & what was dificult and why?’ and this simple feedback has given me more things to work on than any apprasial or observation.
    I feel now that feed back, like professional development, is something that is in our own hands and we need to look for it rather than have others give it to us at times when it is not needed.

  2. November 5, 2017 2:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, Jason. Yes, we, teachers and facilitators, are learners as well. I do agree that as facilitators, we may need to evaluate ourselves. Perhaps, we should go back to the question on ‘why’ giving feedback. Both the feedback giver and receiver should understand the why in order understand and use the given feedback.

    This is the area that I am developing as well, as a teacher, a coordinator and a facilitator. How can I improve the quality of feedback? Yes, I give feedback but is it useful/effective? Does it help the receiver to be better? How should the feedback be treated? How does the giver follow the feedback up?

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