Monday, September 5, 2016

When and How to Give Teachers Feedback

It has been about two weeks since my last post about spending a majority of my time in the classroom and not in the front office. While this commitment has been realized more this year, than in years past, I still am grappling with how and when to give teachers feedback about their instructional practices. 

I find this especially difficult this year since I am a new admin in a new district where the morale of the staff has gone down significantly since the departure of their former admin. Sensitive to their needs and wanting to start on a positive note, I made high visibility and building relationships a top priority. Even so, I know like anyone else in my position that while this is great, I still am responsible for the quality of education the students in our care receive. I am responsible for ensuring that the teachers standing before them are not only qualified but effective; and if they are not, it is I who decides whether the teacher's ineffectiveness is due to skill or willingness. 

While I don't see many red flags at this time, I do see, after three weeks of classroom walk-throughs, areas that could stand to be improved upon. 

So what is one to do? Especially, when she is faced with doing her job and building up her team at the same time? You "Google it" of course! No, but seriously, I am truly at a loss for what to do or at least begin to move in a direction where teachers can expect to receive specific and objective feedback about their instructional practices. I've been in their classrooms daily and they have not heard a word from me about what I have seen and what I think about what I have seen. I mean yes, I comment on classroom experiences in my weekly staff email, but those are general and always positive in nature. 

I guess, in the end, this post is really just a call for help. Similar in nature to a call for conference proposals, I am seeking the thoughts of both admin and classroom teachers about the type of feedback you'd like to receive and how you would like to receive it. 

Until next time...

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