Feedback, constructive criticism, assessment, evaluation, observation…whatever you want to call it, it should be given and received as a way to #becomebetter. Unfortunately it can be a slippery slope. One that many avoid being a part of. If feedback is not something one is seeking, then often times is perceived negatively and defenses can build barriers.
I recently learned of a teacher who sought out feedback. They put a sign on the door that said, “Come in and watch me. I’m looking for feedback on…” What I love about this is the teacher has a specific goal in my mind and wants feedback so that goal can be reached thus becoming better at whatever it may be. They are also reaching out for help. They realize there are others out there who can help them #becomebetter. The door is open.
I came across this article: Leader Tips about Feedback. A very short read with clear explanations on what feedback can be.
Often times feedback can be messy because relationships are sometimes messy and have many moving parts. What I have learned is to be careful when giving feedback when it hasn’t been sought out. Sometimes feedback can get confused thus allowing for misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
I’m also learning that receiving feedback is a skill that should not go unnoticed. In a recent issue of Educational Leadership by ASCD in an article titled, “Stop Sabotaging Feedback”, I read
Receiving feedback is an important skill because even well-delivered, well-intentioned feedback will fall flat if the receiver doesn’t hear it the way it’s meant….Being good at receiving feedback doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the feedback—rather, it means engaging in the conversation with an open mind and heart and then making a thoughtful choice about whether the feedback is useful.
I think if one is “opening their door” to feedback they should be ready to receive it by making sure they understand it. The article continues to give two concrete examples,
- Don’t Fixate on What’s Wrong with the Feedback
- Dig Deeper
To further the learning of receiving Feedback, This Ted Talk by Sheila Heen made me really think. There is so much to be learned:
If one truly is able to give and receive feedback, a culture of feedback and growth can occur in our schools thus allowing for us all to #becomebetter.
So, Come In and Watch Me. I Want Feedback on Giving and Receiving Feedback.
How about you? What do you want to receive feedback on?
This is a super interesting bit. I dig it.
One of the things that I think becomes a stumbling block for quality feedback in our lives is that it is often assumed that feedback can only be delivered by “an expert” or “an authority figure.” That’s a function of the top-down nature of feedback in schools and in organizations. We learn that “the boss” is the one who gives feedback — and that feedback means “an attempt to correct your mistakes.”
All of those negative connotations mean that people resist both giving and receiving feedback from one another. I won’t give you feedback because “I’m not qualified” or “I’m not the boss of you.” And I won’t receive feedback from you because, “You’re not in charge of me” or “What do you know anyway?”
Until we work to change those constructs in our schools, nothing will change. What kids learn about feedback and assessment comes from their experiences through 12 years of being assessed in schools. That’s why this work is so important.
Anyway — hope you are well. Dug thinking with you this morning!
Thanks for your feedback! I do agree that “top down” feedback is typically the norm. We as admin/teachers must model something different. Students are so accustomed to “getting” feedback from teachers, when asked to give feedback to their peers they are paralyzed and aren’t quite sure where to start or how to make it valuable and constructive.
I know several teachers who ask for feedback from their students. I love this idea for so many reasons. For one, it models the idea of what you are speaking of: feedback is worthy from anyone no matter the ranks. Secondly, allowing student voice is a culture shift in the classroom. It teaches students they have a say in their learning. And lastly, it challenges the teacher to use the feedback in a way to #becomebetter in their teaching/learning practices from their students point of view.
I’m curious what you think about students giving feedback to their teachers?
Thanks again for making time to learn with me!