Respond to Feedback
Constructive feedback is one of the most important mechanisms for your professional growth. The amount of feedback teachers receive varies greatly from school to school. Thus, instructional coaching offers a great opportunity to benefit from consistent reflection on your practice and receive guidance and support.
The key to benefitting from feedback is to openly share with your coach the issues you are managing in your practice that you would like to improve upon and to reflect on the appropriate response:
- How can you check your mindset to ensure you are open to receiving the feedback?
- What additional resources or support are needed to make changes to your practice?
- What are one to two “quick wins” you can respond to immediately?
Keep in mind that feedback is a tool that will enable you to change your actions and, with time, will help you see a difference in your practice.
One of the joys of working with a coach is seeing your progress over time. Identify your goals, as stated above, and monitor your successes along the way. You will find that periodically reflecting on how your practice has developed over time is extremely motivating and empowering!
Keeping track of your journey will also ensure you know exactly where you want to pick up with coaching in the next cycle or school year. Make a note in your phone or journal or on a whiteboard:
- What new techniques or strategies have you implemented?
- In which areas of your practice do you feel most confident?
- How have you been more effective with your students?
Monitoring your progress will also help you to set higher expectations for your coach and position you to determine how well coaching is meeting your needs. Remember, your coach is there to serve you in a supportive role that is never evaluative, in complete confidentiality.
As you take an active role in your professional development, working with a coach can be a rewarding experience that helps to enhance your teaching practice in very tangible ways. In the same way it has helped Serena Williams dominate the sport of tennis, it can help you be the champion in your classroom.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.
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