Closing the Feedback Loop

Working with two teachers who had worked in a co-teaching position, we talked about taking advantage of learning from peers in the same classroom.  I suggested it would be beneficial to ask each other specific focal points to get feedback on, such as are students actively engaged and empowered in their learning (not just on task).

What you would look for here is feedback that you can work on, not just to compliment (which is nice but not necessarily helpful).  Having these “points of emphasis,” allows a teacher to focus on something specific, but how do we know the feedback has helped?

I often bring up my time as a basketball referee and how feedback was not only given during the middle of games, how you implemented the feedback was looked at as well.  If I was given ideas of strategies that I could improve at halftime, my evaluators wanted to see that if their feedback was implemented in the second half.  They looked at “sponginess” as a quality in the best referees.

To ensure we close that feedback loop, it could easily be stated, “…because of your previous feedback, I did the following, and here is what I found.”  This doesn’t mean the feedback helped, but it does show a willingness to learn and try based on someone else’s input.  You could easily say, “I tried this, but I do not think it was beneficial because of…” What this does is ensure that when feedback is given, it is not only listened to but acted upon. The second part is often more important than the first.

Feedback is only as good as our willingness to implement and learn from it.


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