Balancing positive and negative feedback
Students can find it difficult to criticize their teacher. And for the person receiving feedback (the teacher, in this case), “suggestions” are easier to act on than criticisms.
Sometimes we are in the “blind spot” and our students’ ideas can be a great help. Also you will definitely be surprised and happy to receive warm words and compliments on your work.
This activity works well mid-course.
The students express what they like about the class and suggest improvements.
At the beginning of a lesson (midway through a term or course), distribute the questionnaire below and ask the students to complete the first part. Complete one yourself, too.
|Three things I like about the class:|
|One suggestion I have for the teacher:|
|One more “like”:|
|One more suggestion:|
Ask the students to stand up with their questionnaire and walk around the room. When you call out Stop! they should stop and talk to the person nearest them about what they have written. After a minute or two, call out Move! and then Stop! again. The students now talk to a different person. Repeat until the students have talked to three or four classmates (about five minutes in total). Join in the activity if you would like to.
Tell the students to sit down and think about their classmates’ likes and suggestions. They choose their favourite “like” and their favourite suggestion and add them to their questionnaire in the space provided.
Collect the questionnaires. Thank the students and tell them you will read them after class.
At the next class, give the students feedback on their questions and suggestions. Highlight at least one suggestion you will be definitely be implementing.
Activity is taken from «The Developing Teacher» book by Duncan Foord