Providing feedback to teachers that’s constructive and kind; Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 4
Providing feedback is one of the hardest parts of being an instructional coach, or at least a close second to the amount of tasks we have to juggle. There are several facets you have to think about when giving feedback, because you are critiquing someone’s work – it’s very personal and it can be hard to hear even the most well-intentioned feedback..
Nicole S. Turner, the creator behind Simply Coaching + Teaching, is here to talk to us about how to give effective feedback to teachers. Nicole has been in the education field for the last 15 years and has been coaching for six.
Throughout her coaching career, Nicole has worked in the elementary and high school setting where she has experienced a wide variety of roles from being almost full time in the classroom to running a variety of departments. You can learn more about Nicole and her coaching resources by visiting Simply Coaching + Teaching.
When you give feedback, you need to ensure you are doing two things: focusing on the evidence and being specific.
Here’s why: It’s important to focus on the evidence you see happening in the classroom because evidence cannot be refuted. If you’ve had some difficulty with getting you and your teachers on the same page, try video coaching! Video coaching allows you to have evidence at your fingertips and you and the teacher are both seeing the exact same thing. You can learn more about Video Coaching, and its incredible benefits by listening to the Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast, Episode 4!
The second aspect, giving specific feedback, is also important. When you give feedback, you want to make sure it is focused on the goal your teacher is working towards. If you veer off to something else, the teacher may become overwhelmed or feel as though you are picking on him/her which can be damaging to the relationship. Feedback should never be damaging or demeaning. Feedback is about giving specifics that can be implemented right way.
One great place to start is by focusing on the positive! In Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 4, Nicole talks about giving out positive notes once a month. It’s a simple note that just states something you liked as you did a quick walkthrough. However, a little note is not enough feedback. You will still need to have feedback meetings with teachers. When you have your feedback meetings, it’s important to be positive but you also want to be honest and helpful. If you are giving good feedback, there will always be a next step for the teacher to try out.
I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds great, but my teachers aren’t receptive to my feedback.” I get it. We’ve all been there! Sometimes you can do all the right things and still have a teacher who is resistant to your suggestions. When this happens, you should always hear what he/she has to say but keep it focused. Allow the teacher to vent, then circle the conversation back to the evidence based feedback you need to discuss. If a teacher is having an issue with a specific student or a group of students, you can always discuss ways to be proactive rather than reactive. Sometimes the conversation they have with you is exactly what they need to see their classroom dynamic differently.
Finally, when giving feedback make sure you check yourself to make sure you have the right mindset. Tune into Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 4 to hear Nicole’s biggest piece of coaching advice and remember to check out the links for some great resources! There’s so much more in the episode that we couldn’t pack into this sneak peek, so make sure you listen to the whole thing!
Listen here to Episode 4, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN
Get a free download to help you have constructive and reflective debriefing conversations with teachers. The collection of sentence starters will help you frame the conversation and keep it focused and purposeful!
Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!