Sunday, September 27, 2015

Improving Schools: Making Time for Meaningful Feedback

I've written this post before, and I'll write it again.

Feedback matters with regard to teaching well, coaching students, and nurturing important student-teacher relationships, the kind of relationships that forward learning.

Providing meaningful feedback is very challenging when the teaching numbers are high and the time for providing reflective, targeted feedback is short.

Yet, good teachers find the time during short planning periods, before school, in the evening, and during weekends. They make the time to review student work, read student stories, and write narrative response.

Many private schools have very small teacher to student ratios and this provides more time for meaningful face-to-face conferences, feedback, and response. While many public schools have good ratios on paper, the truth is that most of the teachers required to provide feedback on their own time are teachers with large number of students most of the day.

Today I'll squirrel away somewhere to focus on many student posts that require feedback. Last week I noticed the increased investment and confidence in the students who already received their responses. That's one measure that demonstrates the importance of feedback. Increased learning is another measure that occurs when good feedback is part of the learning loop too.