As a teacher, one of the most important things you can do to improve your practice is to seek out constructive feedback. But feedback is only helpful if it’s given in the right way. If you’re a principal or instructional coach, there are a few things you should keep in mind when giving feedback to teachers during observations.
It’s no secret that teachers are always looking for ways to improve their practice. Part of that involves seeking out constructive feedback from those who know best – namely, their principals and instructional coaches. However, feedback is only helpful if it’s given in the right way. With that in mind, here are a few things every teacher wants their principal to know about constructive feedback.
The first thing to keep in mind is that feedback should be focused on specific behaviors rather than general comments. For example, instead of saying “you need to be more organized,” try “I noticed that you had a hard time keeping track of your materials today. Can you tell me what your system is for organizing your materials?” This type of specific feedback is more likely to be actionable and lead to real change.
Another important thing to remember is that timing is everything when giving feedback. Teachers are usually busiest at the beginning and end of the day, so try to avoid pulling them out of class during those times unless it’s necessary. If possible, schedule a meeting during their planning period or after school. This will give them the time they need to really process your feedback and come up with a plan for how to implement it.
Finally, it’s important to avoid being critical or judgmental when giving feedback. Remember that teachers are highly invested in their student’s success and care deeply about their practice. Try to frame your comments in a way that shows you’re working together towards the same goal – student achievement.
Constructive feedback is an essential part of any teacher’s professional development journey. As a principal or instructional coach, there are a few things you should keep in mind when giving feedback, such as focusing on specific behaviors, timing your comments well, and avoiding coming across as critical or judgmental. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your feedback is helpful and leads to real change in teachers’ practices.