Receiving Feedback – The Three Steps

Students expect to receive feedback and teachers expect to give it. The question is how that feedback is received. If it is positive and glowing then from my experience the students are happy to receive this type at any time.

The more difficult aspect is receiving feedback about improvement which may be seen as negative.

Honest feedback is a priority and teachers are skilled at giving it along with the means to improve. Parents and guardians rightly expect detailed feedback on what went right, what can be improved and how that may take place?

The challenge for the students is to see these three steps and not just focus on what they may see as negative. If students see the three steps as all positive, then improvement will take place. It is right to expect “what” and “how” to improve and then try to implement it. If that implementation is not going according to plan then students need to go to their teacher and discuss. Teachers will be observing how that is progressing.

This will lead to improvement and we need to realise that it does not always work the first time. Mastery of one’s subject comes in many forms and it is important for students to try to understand “how they learn”. Once that is determined then improvement will also occur.

The premise of the above is the solid relationship between student and teacher. The teacher knows their students well and are best placed to guide them through their studies. The responsibility of the student is to share their questions, challenges and aspirations with their teachers.

That builds the relationship that allows for the three steps on “what went right”, “what can be improved” and “how that may take place”?

Graeme Dent, Head of Senior School


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