Thursday, March 26, 2015

Are You Looking for REAL Feedback as a Teacher? - TED TALKS

I just watched this TED Talk by Bill Gates.  He is talking about teachers recording themselves and receiving feedback on their teaching through placing a flip camera on a tripod in the back of their rooms and then just watching it themselves and beginning by being their own coaches.     You know, I am teaching all of my classes online this semester and am recording all of the sessions.  I have expected students to review the videos if they miss them, but maybe I should review them as well to see how well I am doing . . .

What do you do to get feedback on how you teach?


  1. Hello Leigh,
    I like the direction you are taking this. What you are describing makes up about 40% of the National Board Teacher Certification application process.
    Yes, record consistently, create a rubric or checklist that references applicable standards. For me, that includes NBPTS and ISTE-T standards. After referencing the "performance" back to standards, focus on writing or recording a reflection that addresses challenging questions; What did I do well?, What will I change and improve for next time?, Did this lesson hit desired objectives?, Did this lesson create meaningful learning opportunities for my students?
    In addition to this self-evaluation process, I think it's beneficial for PLC members to share videos and provide perspective and feedback for each other. Other eyes will provide wider perspective and notice overlooked aspects of the recordings.
    Don't stop at the instructor level. At times, I've asked students to watch classroom recordings. Students were asked to submit reflective comments on their engagement level, task focus, and contribution to the classroom learning culture.
    In my coaching experience, video recordings of practices and competitions are such powerful learning tools. For many of us, including myself, it's difficult to change behaviors we don't see and hear for ourselves. I left the coaching whistle in my locker, but the camcorder became a fixture in my classroom. Take care and talk soon, Bob

    1. Thanks for your comment, Bob. I really like the idea of having your students pay attention to their involvement in the class. How did you present this? Did you show it as a class and then discuss it or did you ask your students to watch it independently? I would interested in hearing more about your extended experiences with self evaluation. Perhaps you could write something and I could post it as a guest blogging?

  2. Tony Reid5:28 PM

    For several years I encouraged teachers to do this but I don't think anyone did. Finally our leadership team committed to do it -- teachers would video themselves and share with their grade-level team. (It would never be shared with me unless the teacher wanted to.) We trained them how to give feedback to each other. First time, teachers naturally focused on the idiosyncratic things, their "uhs," their facial expressions, their voice, etc. Once they got beyond that it became a powerful exercise.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Tony. It is a matter of nurturing an environment of self improvement.

    2. It's also important that teachers don't confuse the principal's "evaluation hat" with his/her "coaching hat." Wearing two hats is unavoidable, but it makes establishing trust hard. And you cannot establish that environment of self-improvement without it.


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