How can you present classroom observation data you have collected in a way that demonstrates respect and in a way that fosters teacher collaboration? Following are some general rules of thumb to consider when giving feedback.
- State feedback in concrete terms. Focus observations on actual behaviors or performance. Refrain from making assumptions, inferences, or explanations.
- Refrain from making judgments.
- Offer feedback in a spirit of helpfulness. Focus feedback on what the teacher can use and manage, rather than on all of the information you have gathered.
- Focus feedback on things within the teacher’s control. Discuss those things which the teacher can modify.
To keep a check on how you are doing with regard to feedback, you might want to ask the teacher to summarize the main points. Ask the teacher what he or she makes of the feedback: Did it confirm his or her suspicions? Were there any surprises? Did it raise any new questions? Did it change his or her view of the problem? Remember, the goal is to present the data in such a way that the teacher feels comfortable using the information to solve problems.
For more strategies and tips for teacher collaboration, see https://www.exinn.net/strategies-for-teacher-collaboration/