Who wants Feedback? And how do you want it?
I was invited to give a talk at a gathering of teachers. The aim was to encourage the teachers to open up to feedback, from each other as well as their students.
I guessed that some teachers were already involved in some kind of observation and feedback activities in their teaching teams, and knew from personal experience that many teachers were initially resistant to the idea of head teachers or colleagues coming into their classrooms to observe and give feedback.
My strategy was to empower the teachers, to let them know that there were ways to manage the feedback that was already happening, and thereby open them up to other teachers giving them feedback.
In the book "A Coaching Approach to Education" I offer a rough transcript of the talk that I gave.
Direct Feedback and Coaching Feedback
Which of these feels most empowering for you?
Being in charge of when the feedback shall be done, by whom and what to focus on, i.e. asking for feedback, makes the feedback process and results more manageable. You can ask for what you want, when you want it, and use it as you wish. When students for example know that you are taking their feedback into consideration, they often calm down, show more consideration and respect, and learn more. You can give feedback to a colleague when they ask for it. That does not mean "when you think they need it"!
It's useful to base teacher-to-teacher feedback on an agreed set of principles and criteria.
These are usefully based on SCORE:
S hadow - generally getting to know the teacher’s situation from their point of view
C riteria - picking out some specifics to pay attention to during the upcoming observation
O bservation - The teacher observes their colleague in action during a lesson
R eflection - Together the teachers think back on and reflect on what happened during the lesson
E xperiment - Selecting some different activities, ways of thinking, ways of tackling issues etc.
CAtE book, available on Amazon (click the picture)
Coaching Tools, available for download (click the picture)
Teacher, facilitator and coach; Martin Richards trains educators to use a coaching approach all the work they do.