You’ve intentionally planned an impactful professional learning session for your teachers. You feel good about your facilitation, and the monitoring you did along the way evidenced understanding. The feeling in the room was positive, and you wrapped up answering all of the questions posed.
Guess what? You’re not done. Either in the session itself, or shortly thereafter, you must solicit feedback from your staff. We ask teachers to do this every day; why are we so hesitant? Do we not know how? Jennifer Gonzalez, who writes the Cult of Pedagogy blog, has some great suggestions.
She highlights that we must go beyond casual requests, or fluff questions such as “did you like today’s learning?” Your feedback must relate specifically to your intended outcomes, and possibly for what the next steps might be.
The scenario I set out in the beginning of this post is not always the setting in which we operate. For example, during our September faculty meeting, I really did not do a good job facilitating and I knew it in the moment. Asking for feedback when I knew it was likely going to be critical was tough. Yet, I forged ahead, asking two questions relating to the intended outcomes (for which the feedback was mostly positive), and then one open-ended question for any questions that remained. Not only did I get questions, but I also got suggestions. And, I got some deserved criticism.
I learned that no matter how transparent I think I am being, I should go one step further. I learned that I needed to be more clear on our “why” and “how”. And in seeking this feedback, and then addressing it with my staff, we built trust. As Stephen Covey says:
Join the conversation…how do you seek and use feedback?