As a school administrator or instructional coach, you play a vital role in shaping the culture of your school. The way you communicate with teachers can empower them to be their best selves, or it can unintentionally foster a feeling of mistrust. In this blog post, we’ll explore some specific feedback strategies that coaches and administrators can use to build trust and create a positive, empowering school culture.
The Power of Language
The words we use have a tremendous impact on the way we think and feel about ourselves. When we constantly receive negative feedback, it’s easy to begin internalizing that negativity and believing that we are somehow “not good enough.” On the other hand, when we receive positive feedback that is specific and objective, it gives us tangible evidence that we are doing a good job. This empowers us to keep striving for excellence.
That’s why, as a coach or administrator, it’s so important to use language that is positive and empowering. Instead of saying “you need to work on your classroom management,” try saying “I noticed that you were managing your classroom effectively today.” This small change in wording can make a big difference in the way teachers perceive themselves and their ability to be successful in the classroom.
The Importance of Timing
Another important factor to consider when giving feedback is timing. If you wait too long to give feedback, it will lose its impact. For example, if you observe a teacher using an effective teaching strategy with their students, be sure to let them know right away. This will not only encourage them to continue using that strategy, but it will also help them feel appreciated and valued. On the other hand, if you wait too long to give feedback about an ineffective teaching strategy, the teacher may become defensive and resistant to change. Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance between giving immediate feedback and waiting until the end of the day or week to give more comprehensive feedback.
The Bottom Line
As a coach or administrator, the way you communicate with teachers can have a profound impact on the culture of your school. By using positive, empowering language and giving timely feedback, you can build trust and create an environment where teachers feel valued and supported. What are some other ways you build trust with teachers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!