Goal: Seek Feedback

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 20

portrait of a young girl at school holding out an apple

I remember watching a Dateline episode in which they videotaped several teachers and found that many called on boys more than girls. Apparently, the boys were also praised more. You can read the study, Co-ed Classrooms Favor Boys, to form your own opinions. What I thought was really fascinating about the episode were the interviews with the teachers. The teachers watched their videos and were asked questions about their favoritism. Surprisingly, the teachers did not try to justify their actions. Instead, the teachers were appalled with their actions and reflected on how they would improve and pay more attention to their teaching styles.

Feedback From Your Students

Watching the segment made me wonder what I would discover if my teaching was recorded. I was never brave enough to attempt this, but I did begin to seek student feedback. My goal for 2010 is to seek more feedback from various sources and let the feedback help me improve.  How often are we brave enough to do this? I do not think feedback from a principal’s observation is enough. In my experience, I plan ahead to teach the best lesson for principal observations. I always get positive feedback. However, my student surveys have not always revealed high marks in all areas. This has helped mold me into a better teacher.
One of the best examples of student feedback is in Kevin Creutz’s post, My Reign is Over. In this must read post, Kevin tries a different approach by giving students reign over an entire lesson. However, he does not do this haphazardly. He has the unplanned lesson quite organized. He puts students into groups and at the end has them complete an evaluation of the new instructional approach. Read his post for the details.
I continuously try new ways of teaching my students. However, I rarely ask at the end of every lesson if they felt the experience improved their learning. Therefore, I plan to take the last 10 minutes of every class period to ask my students how they enjoyed the approach. If they feel the technology or instructional method was not productive, then no matter what I believe I will listen to them.
Challenge:
Seek feedback from colleagues or from your students for at least one period. Try recording yourself if you are brave.

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This is goal 20 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post with more details!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

How has student feedback improved your lessons?