I just completed my third and final practicum (yay!) and I was lucky to have a great colleague teacher who took the time to note down both positive comments and things that I could improve on. While sometimes it can be difficult to hear the things you could have done better, particularly during prac which can be quite a stressful time, it is important to take it on as constructive criticism.
After all, in my eyes we have two options:
- disregard the feedback and carry on as before
- take a positive attitude and create goals to be achieved directly from the feedback
What have you done in the past?
I took the second option and really tried to turn the cons into specific goals that I could work towards throughout the rest of my prac. I believe I consistently improved as a direct result of the specific goals that I created from the feedback and the support from my colleague teacher. Now that prac is over, I intend to continue working to achieve my goals and continue to set new ones.
If you’re a teacher who takes on student teachers, provide constructive feedback and set goals for your student to work towards. Prac can be a stressful time and it is important to provide positive feedback as well as noting improvements that could be made. Positive feedback allows the student to know what they are doing well and provides them with confidence, while turning the cons into goals provides the student with specific things to work towards.
As teachers, we need to be constantly reflecting on our teaching and continually finding ways to improve. My uni supervisor left me with some simple, yet wise words about teachers that really rings true; “when you think you know it all, then you should leave.” We can never know it all, nor do we have to, we just need to keep reflecting on our teaching and make improvements and adjustments where necessary in order to continue working towards being the best teacher that we can be. Setting goals to be achieved based on reflections and/or the advice of others can help us to do exactly that.
However, this approach can even stretch far beyond teachers and the classroom. We could apply this approach to our daily lives if we continually reflect on the choices we make and the actions we choose. We can create goals for ourselves to achieve in order to be the best that we can be. Wouldn’t the world be a great place if everyone lived by this notion?
Do you take this approach?
What strategies have you seen work well between a colleague teacher and a student teacher?