What does it mean to teach students? Is it a process that can be scripted for others to deliver in a mechanical manner, much like an assembly line? Or is it a process that depends on the context and needs of students, almost akin to art?
Feedback sometimes feels like:
As school leaders with the ability to observe educators in dozens of different subjects, grade levels, and contexts, we envision the horse clearly. We can describe the horse (although some are more articulate than others), we’ve been to trainings where others have drawn the horse, and some of us can actually still draw it. The challenge for school leaders is to help classroom instruction get to the next step. Dismally, too many times the instructor hears “just add small details.”
The problem with this process is that the expectation, vision, and motivation comes from outside the learner. Feedback provided ineffectively, the educator walks a journey imposed upon them. Feedback provided effectively, the educator walks their own journey, thinking and reflecting to create a vision of improvement and excellence.
Effective feedback treats the instructor as an artist honing their craft instead of the assembler following instructions.