Providing feedback does not have to be scary because you are going to show your teachers a formula that you’ll use as you debrief them. There will be no mystery and no switcheroo or hidden agenda. There is an order to a debrief or feedback session that the teachers will grow to expect – and that will take some of the nervousness away for both the coach and teacher.
Here is the flow of the debriefing:
1. Restate the purpose for the coaching interaction
2. Ask the teacher to reflect on the teaching
3. Using your notes, describe in detail what you saw during the lesson
4. Provide specific “Yay!” feedback
5. Provide specific “Here’s what I’d like you to work on” feedback
6. Ask the teacher to reflect on your feedback
7. Choose a next step action and time commitment together
Did you faint or grow weak when you read Step 5? If you did, we’re going to have to change that.
I PROMISE you that if you are direct and fair with your teachers, they will appreciate getting specific feedback from you…in fact, giving direct feedback and suggestions is THE WAY to building trust between coaches and teachers. I know it’s counter-intuitive, but it’s true!
I used to be afraid of #5, until I read a coaching article that called the specific feedback “enhancements”. I know that sounds like silly semantics, but it changed the entire way I thought about my feedback. I’m never telling teachers right or wrong but I can tell them which practices are effective and what they could do to enhance their current practices. There is something nice, friendly, and encouraging about enhancement. Ok, maybe it is just semantics…
Ha! I don’t care whether it’s semantics or not…as long as you do it! I like that word “enhancement” – make sense to me!