Ongoing Feedback Loop from parents & students to teachers

Students (and parents) feedback their experience of learning, what works for them and allow for change.

Photo of Jacqui Wolstenholme
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As a one time teacher and now parent working in the charity sector - getting feedback from the people you work with is invaluable. Knowing something works well and helps understanding improves performance and inspires confidence and well-being in both teachers and students. Knowing when things are not working is just as valuable:

Recently my older child was very despondent at school, he was in group where the  class teacher was new to the school and was struggling with managing the class behaviour which meant a lot of time was spent controlling behaviour rather than teaching the subject. 

Parents evening came along and I decided to broach the subject. The teacher was totally unaware of the impact the lack of classroom management was having on my son and others in the classroom - but admitted he was 'stamping his ground' - as soon as I brought the subject up you could see the relief on his face - it almost felt like he had permission to talk about the difficulty he was experiencing. My son explained how he felt and the way the conflict in the classroom made him feel. We discussed re-arranging the seating and perhaps a change of approach. We involved the head of the department in the discussion and when my son returned to school the atmosphere was less tense. The teacher was more himself and relaxed - the class behaviour improved, the teacher was happier, and my son was happier - a win-win.

The Parents evening was the catalyst for this change and although not the best place for expressing feelings was an opportunity to broach  the subject. I felt if I had not made my approach things would have remained the same or even deteriorated - it gave me confidence in not holding back when things are not quite right and to speak up, my son felt he had been listened to and that he had some control over what happened in the classroom. 

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

There are many voluntary and community sector examples of feedback loop approach which could be used in schools - parents evenings could be the start of this and should not be the one and only conversation in a school year.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Clint Heitz

Jacqui - If you'd be willing, I would greatly appreciate your support for Guideposts to Success by heading to the post and leaving a positive evaluation, as well as suggestions to grow the idea even more! Thank you! 

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