Monday, December 30, 2013

Operation Feedback! Just Give Me 30 Minutes a Week, and You Too Will Be an Amazing Teacher!

I should have known something was wrong when the faculty meeting started with a video of Bill Gates EEE (Education Expert Extraordinaire) talking about what teachers need.

What does Bill think we need more than anything in the world? Feedback! I don't see anything wrong with feedback, but on a Top 10 list of things teachers need, this is not it.

But, what do I know? Who am I to contradict what Bill Gates has to say regarding any educational issues? So I sat, and stared mindlessly at the video, inwardly becoming more and more agitated as I listened to....

I couldn't imagine what this video had to do with why we were at this after school faculty meeting that had 30 extra minutes tagged onto it.

And then there it was, the A.N.T (Another New Thing)...Operation Feedback!

This is what I have to look forward to when I return to work in 2014:

  • An administrator or coach(my peer), will make an announced visit to my room, every week, for the rest of the school year.
  • They will watch me,  observe me, take notes, (or videotape me if I allow), for 15 minutes, every week.
  • They will read their notes and come up with an "action step" to correct whatever they observed that could be improved on. No, they will help me become a better teacher by pointing out my flaws every week. No, they will praise me, and then tell me what I am doing wrong, every week.
  • I will meet with them for about "15ish" minutes, every week, so we can discuss the "action step."
  • When they return the next week, they expect that I would have corrected what was discussed the previous week. (But do not despair, this is NOT evaluative!)
  • Then the process will begin again, EVERY WEEK
I do not mind an administrator coming into my room. I welcome feedback from administrators, peers, students, and parents. Even after 29 years, I am still learning. I can take constructive criticism, key word, constructive. As a matter of fact, I am one of those people who apply constructive criticism immediately. A good idea is a good idea, whomever the source.

I wrote a question on my Exit Ticket; 'What if you don't find anything to write an "action step" for?" The presenter who collected my ticket, read it, and laughed. "Are you saying you're perfect?"

Feedback is important. It helps us to grow in whatever profession we have chosen. But this, this is...I have no words. :(

Is this happening in any other schools? If so, is it beneficial?

photo credit: Caro's Lines via photopin cc


  1. We have "one minute walk-throughs" at my school, where an administrator pops in unannounced and stays for no longer than 5 minutes. We then get feedback based on that observation. A few times I have been frustrated about comments because the observer didn't see the big picture. I do appreciate the feedback, but it would bother me if they had to find an action step every time. I agree that I'm not a perfect teacher, but you could be having a great lesson going perfectly. 15 minutes every week seems a bit excessive.

    1. We also have walkthroughs. The observations are posted in Data Service(our online files), and then we have to email answers to the questions the administrator wrote us.