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How to receive effective feedback to teachers

Posted by Karabo Kgophane on 15 October 2021 1:20 PM SAST
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No matter which way the feedback flows, there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s useful, meaningful, and productive – no matter who you’re talking to.

When getting feedback:

Ask, ask, ask

Don’t just accept feedback when it’s given. Actively seek it out. Nothing sends the message “I’m open and ready to be my best” than inviting comments and suggestions on a particular area you’re trying to improve. It requires a bit of courage – you are putting yourself out there, after all – but if you make it a habit and promise to reciprocate, it gets a lot easier (for everyone).

Hey, listen!

“Hold on, let me explain myself!” We understand the urge to say these words, we really do. But you’ll get far more out of your feedback if you resist it and pour your focus into hearing the other person out and understanding their perspective instead. Plus, you’ll show them that you’re paying attention (not thinking of how you’ll rebut their points), and really care about what’s on their mind – making it easier to give you feedback in the future.

Be open

There’s no single “right way” to do the dishes, bake a cake, or encourage classroom participation. And even the most experienced masters at all three have room to grow. Trying something a different way may teach you something worthwhile and help you become even better, so meet feedback with a receptiveness to new ideas and a willingness to try them.

Reflect

We can’t act on every bit of feedback we receive in our lives. Sometimes we have time or resource constraints. Sometimes it’s out of our control. Sometimes we simply don’t agree with it, even after giving it lots of thought. A key part of taking feedback is sorting through the noise, looking for trends and prioritizing what’s most valuable – and even seeking a second opinion if something really doesn’t sit right.

All of this matters because feedback impacts instruction. It makes collaboration easier. It builds skills. It improves culture. It gives improvement direction and meaning. It brings people together. And the more we get, the better we’ll be.

Source: Teacher Vision

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