Tag Archives: Feedback

Feedback, who needs it?


Photo: Flickr-Alan Levine CC

The last learning section in the mooc I’m taking really focused on giving quality feedback and what an effective coaching session looks like and includes.  To me, it has been the most useful learning session so far as the learning lent itself well to all forms of effective coaching.  Whether it was interns, new teachers, or experienced teachers the information in this weeks session fit for all.  I thought this was important because up until now a lot has been focused on new teachers and I see a genuine importance in being able to coach and work effectively with experienced teachers as well.  In some ways working with experienced teachers may need the use of  more of the effective coaching strategies as they are coming to the table with experience and pre-determined ideas about the profession, perhaps more than that brand new teacher.

Feedback is important for everyone in the education system.  How do we know if we are getting it right without feedback. In an earlier post I shared a TedTalk video of Bill Gates discussing the need for teacher feedback.  Check it out of you haven’t already.  It is very American but I found the message useful.  Effective feedback can come for teachers from coaches but it is also important to consider feedback that comes from students, parents, other teachers, and administration.  I think the administration aspect is important.  I’m always impressed by admin teams that take time to work through goals with their teaching staff and spend some time int heir classrooms.  I found this additional read by Tim Westerberg  as I was researching this week and thought it made some good points about effective feedback and being on an admin team.  The big idea from my mooc this week was what to look for within that feedback that makes it effective.  The feedback should be goal driven, forward-looking, and directive in order to be most effective.  So basically effective feedback is focused, one skill at a time with follow through.  It is as much a planning session as coaching session.  The rule of thumb seems to be 1/3 discussion of past teaching and 2/3 time working on practice and feedback for moving forward.  I like this, keeps teachers from getting too focused on what they have done vs what they can do.  Finally coaches are direct.  They set up goals, practice, and framework that matches a shared instructional vision and allows for change and success.

What do you think about feedback…where should it come form for teachers?  Do we require feedback in all stages of our professional career?

Now in the mooc we have learned about what effective coaching is and looks like the last section dealt solely with having an effective session with teachers suing the effective coaching skills we have learned. The mooc provided me with a guide to organizing my time working with teachers.  The stand out ideas to me were goals, precise positives, and prep steps.


Previous Goals-Specific data should be used within the session to link feedback implementation to student learning or behaviour.

Big Goals-Do we change our big goal for the next session or stick with it.  Things to think about in this section had to do with whether or not teachers needed to master a skill to benefit and change or just be aware of it as well as what is most important for student learning.

Precise Positives

During the session make positive feedback very precise.  Connect teacher input to student output.  Positive feedback should be legitimate to the skill being practiced.

Prep Steps

Have teachers use some of the time prepping for the next goal.  Use role plays, scenarios, immediate feedback, and confidence on practicing the new skill.  Help your teachers prepare, give ideas, and practice.  Keeping in contact between session is also important for coaches and teachers, use post meeting email to continue the support form the session.

The effective coaching session is so important in encouraging change in teachers.  The skills in this mooc are invaluable to the process of helping teachers new and experienced.

Learning through the videos, readings, and hands on experience in this mooc have been great.  In fact so great stay tuned for my next post that will include my reflection on using these skills with actual teachers in my division as I had a chance to do some coaching in the goal area of differentiation in the classroom!


My effective coaching project is underway!

As you may have read in earlier posts I have decided to do my project through a mooc.  This week was week one of “Coaching Teachers. Promoting Changes that Stick” and I am happy to report that I am throughly enjoying the learning so far.

This week the focus of my learning was on the introductory section.  This section included videos, readings, and discussion boards to present information and because the mooc is promoting changes that stick I am going to tell you what stuck with me this week.

The first thing in the course that stuck with me this week was a description of the purpose of effective coaching.

QUote 1

The class began this week with a role play video of an instructional coach and a new to the profession teacher.  Although the video showed a positive relationship between the two participants it was easy to pick out what was ineffective about their interactions.  The instructional coach (Mr. Goodcoach) was consistently positive and open to sharing with the new teacher (Miss Rookie) but offered little in the way of suggestions and opportunity to practice for improvement.  The interactions made Miss Rookie feel supported and positive about her work but it did little to offer an actual coaching for improvement opportunity.  I quite enjoyed watching the role plays this week as it gave me some visual examples of what to look for as effective and ineffective coaching as the course continued or the week.

The second thing that stuck with me this week were the elements of effective coaching.

The course included four elements of effective coaching; highly intensive, sustained, individualized, as well as high teacher buy-in.  They explained them a bit and moved on but I was left unsatisfied with this section and so I will explore this area more on my own.

The third this that stuck with me this week was The Coaching Formula.


It does look a bit strange to me using a formula to describe teacher coaching but I guess the visual helps us to put into perspective the steps we must have in place for effective coaching to take place.  I’m sure I will be able to describe each section in detail as the weeks go on but here is the quick overview I was provided with in the course this week.

Clarity of Instructional Vision

  • shared idea of the optimal classroom
  • “student facing” articulates what students are doing, saying, thinking
  • agreed upon by both the coach and teacher

Quality of Feedback

  • structure of feedback
  • components of feedback

Fixed Mindset Tax

  • change occurs depending on mindset tax

mindset tax

I did do a bit more exploring on my own this week into the topic of feedback and came across this Ted Talk Video about the need for real feedback by Bill Gates and even though it is based on education in the states I liked the message.

As a bonus I came across Silvia’s blog when searching for additional resources and ideas.  Silvia took the same mooc as I am and completed it earlier this year.  I love her use of Sketchnotes  to summarize each week so wanted to link to her blog as I feel like this is something I want to try a version of next week!