Saturday, 28 December 2013

Craving Teacher Feedback

I think that I am craving teacher feedback. I didn't realize it until the other day when I was planning a research unit with a more experienced educator and she told me that I was doing amazing things.  It was most likely the first feedback other than “great art work on your bulletin board” that I had received from a more experienced educator since I had my last evaluation over 3 years ago. We, as teachers, give continuous feedback to our students but most teachers or administrators don't seem to give it to one another as much. I know that I am doing a good job with my students using technology and creativity to teach them, help them learn, and inspire them but, just like my students love getting comments on their blogs, I'd like to hear that I’m doing a good job or even what I could do better.

Don't get me wrong, I receive many thank yous when helping others out in their classroom with technology projects or activities but it isn't the same as hearing feedback about what you are doing in your own classroom. As a newer teacher I feel like I would benefit from feedback from my more experienced colleagues.  These first ten years or so are our crucial years in developing as a teacher and although I know I am doing a fine job  feedback is important in developing as a teacher. Our experienced educators have knowledge and insight that I may not have thought of especially a few years ago when my teaching evaluations stopped. I find myself turning to the newest teacher, who started teaching the year I stopped receiving feedback, to share my ideas and thoughts. We collaborate and share while, also, providing feedback in the form of; "I love that idea. How do did you do that?" or sometimes this colleague will ask "I am having trouble with this ... or do you have any ideas for this__?" and I'll do the same as well. This is the kind of feedback and discussion that I yearn for from experienced educators as although the conversations I have with this newer teacher are insightful, more feedback from others is always great. So thank you to the more experienced teacher that made my day by simply telling me I was doing amazing things.

I do, also, get feedback from my online colleagues on the projects I am organizing or on ideas I share. I must thank Dana Ariss (@danariss) for providing me with much needed feedback. She keeps me going and motivated. Dana, you are a role model and inspiration. Please keep on giving feedback and I will keep on providing it in return!

Feedback is crucial in student learning so I think in return it should be more prevalent amongst all educators. Even a simple "Oh I love that art project your students did. How did they do it?" provides some feedback. Perhaps, at lunch times and recess I need to start sharing what we are in doing in my classroom to get things rolling.  Maybe this will facilitate more feedback and discussion on what we are doing in our classrooms. This in turn could perhaps lead to how we could develop stronger team-work and collaboration in order to continue our positive climate and safe environment for all students and staff. I need some advice and tips or should I say feedback from my online colleagues, if you don’t mind. How do members of my PLN share feedback with your colleagues? How do you collaborate with your colleagues? How do you facilitate these discussions for sharing feedback in your work environments? What can I do to help create a sharing environment with my colleagues? Any other advice?

Thank you to the colleague who let me know that I was doing a good job. It may have just been a simple statement to you but to me the feedback made my day and got me thinking about teacher feedback. Both you and Dana have helped satisfy my craving for feedback and encouraged me to seek advice and feedback from my online colleagues.

Feedback, anyone?

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