Student-Centered Feedback to Support Teacher Growth

A short video clip focused on building trust with mentors so that feedback is more impactful

Hear how Lindsey Wickersham, Induction Coordinator of Ontario-Montclair School District, uses student-centered feedback to guide teacher development and build trusting relationships.

Watch the full webinar here.


Lindsey Wickersham:

You brought up trust, and that’s our first piece is how to build that rapport and trust with mentors so you can have that relationship. So you can be at a place where you can give feedback and ask those tough questions. Because ultimately we want those teachers to improve for our students so we have student growth. So a big chunk of the training that we do with mentors is giving feedback, and we really have shifted from making it all about the teacher to student-centered feedback. So that also lessens the hard conversations because instead of saying, did you see what you did here? You let students go without making sure they understand the concept and then you just let them go independently and that didn’t work. That can be received as harsh. But instead you can say, are you seeing what the students are doing here? Do you think that they understood the directions and the task and how do you know that? Or how do you know the students were engaged?

So it flips it from focusing on the teacher to what are the students doing and how do you know? So just this past induction session last week, in terms of improving the process of feedback, I had a specific slide where I gave very explicit directions on what I wanted to happen with GoReact. So for the second observation, we just finished the first one, which is in person. The second observation is a GoReact recorded lesson, and I want everybody, so now we’re talking about last year we kind of were lenient, this year we’re more focused in on the expectations for GoReact. So every candidate needs to record their lesson and they have to watch it within that first week and leave some reflective comments, questions, or those aha moments, those things that they catch, prior to their mentor watching it. After the candidate has self-reflected on their own lesson, then the mentor will leave some feedback and questions and then they can meet in person to debrief. So always effective feedback. So that’s I think step one.

We have a mentor training coming up in a few weeks, and we’re going to look at feedback. So my plan is to pull up some samples of GoReact feedback from this past observation and see what works and what doesn’t, how we keep it student-centered and not teacher focused, and then it’s just we’re all in the same room together so we can build off of each other. So if I say I’m having a problem, this teacher is really struggling with classroom management, has anybody experienced that and what are you saying? These mentors just share ideas and say, okay, I did that. Here’s what I did when I recorded this lesson, there was these minutes where the students were not listening and they were getting up. So I was able to have that conversation and ask, what are your routines? What are your procedures? So that’s just an example.

So I think looking at the trends or patterns we see with the feedback that we’re giving and looking at examples, that’s the feedback that I’ve received from mentors in the past is seeing examples, being able to read examples of feedback, and then talking with each other to get those good question stems about how they’re going to breach this topic with their candidate.