How to Give Teachers the Feedback They Need By Matthew Lynch

How to Give Teachers the Feedback They Need

Teachers need great feedback: But do school leaders have what they need to give it?

By Dr. Michael Moody

It seems that new research emerges nearly every day underscoring the connections between not only student achievement and teacher quality, but also teacher quality and high impact observation and feedback.  Put simply, great feedback leads to teacher growth, and stronger teachers lead to higher student achievement.

Until recently, however, few have stopped to really think about what great feedback and support for teachers really looks like, and perhaps even more importantly, where it comes from. In most systems, it's up to school leaders to conduct observations and provide growth-based feedback to teachers.

But do school leaders really have the support they need to make that happen?

According to a poll of school leaders conducted by SmartBrief and Insight Education Group earlier this year, nearly two-thirds acknowledged that systems in place at their schools - particularly observation and evaluation processes - do not work to improve instruction or promote teacher growth.

Unsettling as it may be, this data shouldn't be too surprising. Traditional observation and evaluation systems are often difficult for school leaders to effectively implement for three reasons:

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