You would be surprised, but teachers really do crave feedback. Instead of the dread or fear of an administrator/supervisor visiting your room it really should be a powerful opportunity to gain instructional feedback that would help you grow as a teacher.
As a teaching practicum supporting teacher and supervisor this semester, I see the anxiety of the teachers I observe as I step in the room but it all dissolves when they realize the power of feedback and instructional coaching. I am reminded that kind of feedback you give will make or break whether or not the receiver can act on your feedback in order to support both student and teacher growth.
It’s important to know the 4 types of feedback you can give teachers and when to give each type as an instructional leader.
1. Diagnostic Feedback– Identifies the root cause of why something is or is not working. It is best used with those who are struggling because they lack an understanding of key concepts involved in the work they are doing.
2. Prescriptive Feedback– Designed to help teachers understand what they should be doing differently to be more successful. This is best suited for those who have tried something unsuccessfully and need specific help or direction to improve.
3. Descriptive Feedback– Most commonly used. It gives detailed descriptions of performance. it is best used with teachers who have a good foundational understanding of the core expectations and principles that guide their work and have the capacity to make adjustments based on reflective practice.
4. Micro-Feedback– Provides small nuances, tweaks, and minor adjustments that will significantly improve already good performance. This works best with teachers who have already demonstrated a degree of expertise.
My work has primarily been with novice teachers, so I’ve had lots of opportunities to this week to provide both diagnostic and prescriptive feedback to student teachers. Remember, it’s all about the how you give feedback. Teachers really do crave it.