Feedback is a crucial step of every process that allows us to take a step back, review “what we did”, “how we could have done it”, “what was left out”, “how we can evolve”, because irrespective of the efforts, evolution is the way “forward”, making sure nothing is left “behind”, through the process of feedback.
With strong links to growth and development, feedback plays an important role in classroom environments as well. The direct loop of response is between the teacher and the student. But this feedback loop has been linear so far, existing as a result of the teacher’s perspective and advice to the students only. Consequently, this loop may need to be completed by pupils giving out their views back to instructors. In this article, we came up with strategies, examples, and all relevant insights about feedback and how to facilitate it.
Running the latter end of the feedback loop: From students to teachers
Schools provide an environment that has the potential to assist growth. A simple process of feedback from the students can help in ensuring the same. A personalized and politely framed response often works since it makes the teacher receptive and aware; at the same time, it gives some room for improvement if the student points out. Although there are plenty of teacher-parent communication apps, personalized feedback from the students works best!
Why engage in the feedback loop? What makes it necessary In Class Environment
We tend to listen to a request or a complaint only from someone where care and respect for each other are mutual. When we make sure to appreciate and acknowledge a teacher’s efforts, it makes the teachers, or anyone for that matter, even more, receptive to constructive feedback that could improve the quality of service they hope to provide.
Modes of feedback- A diverse set of channels for students
While sharing feedback can be thought-provoking, there are several modes to make it engaging in the process, with a few insights on how a student can prepare feedback that’s accepted, regardless of its nature. A student can provide a teacher with feedback in the following ways:
Writing a heartfelt thank you or an expectation is often considered professional and feels comfortable with an inclination towards better expression.
For Example: Upon receiving good/full marks in the subject, because the student understood better because of the subject teacher, he or she could share their gratitude and their favorite teaching by the teacher in a formal yet considerate form.
“Thank you, mam, for being so interactive with us that the concepts that seem so difficult in the textbooks begin to feel easy and applicable when you teach them. Thank you for making sure that none of us is left behind in the class. It really makes a lot of difference.”
Verbal feedback can provide scope for discussion that wouldn’t be possible otherwise, nevertheless, it is important here, that the tone of the feedback isn’t so harsh that it feels like an attack, neither it is so soft, that the message isn’t propagated in case of constructive feedback where a student feels that the teachers could have dealt with the situation better, or in case they feel left out.
For Example :
If a student feels left out and disrespected by their sports teacher who is otherwise great at propagating the skills, then a wise way to provide the teacher with feedback could be:
“Greetings sir, I just wanted to share something which could help me improve as a pupil if needed. I have been a fan of the techniques that you teach, and make sure to practice them every day. I can only imagine the intensity of pressure it might have to deal with so many students. Nevertheless, lately, I haven’t been chosen to be a part of any of the teams, and I really wish to be a star student of yours. So, I would request your insights, if any, to help me gauge my focus on any particular thing if required, to be able to stand strong as per your expectations.
Lastly, physical feedback is majorly given in the form of gestures and is inclined towards the positive type of feedback for the most part, like, gifting your teacher with a handmade card or a flower to greet them or even thank them, which can make a teacher feel motivated towards their job, noticed and appreciated.
Feedback examples for teachers from students
While a lot of students like to appreciate the efforts of a teacher with a special gift. Nonetheless, ensuring the above-depicted channels and strategies, we here listed a few examples that make feedback fruitful for both pupils as well as teachers:
1. Examples of positive feedback
- “Dear Teacher, it is amazing how easily you connect the most twisted concepts with real-life examples making it so much more interesting to study physics. I have always been a little scared of this subject, but ever since you joined us, this subject feels like a piece of cake and my grades have also increased considerably. I wanted to thank you with all my heart for being such an accommodative and understanding teacher to us”
- “I would like to thank Miss/Mrs. X for making me, my own person. I have always been a hardworking student but felt underconfident during examinations. Nonetheless, she makes sure that solutions to our doubts aren’t spoon-fed to us, but something that we reach, with rigor and logic, which has instilled so much confidence in me. Thank you for being such an amazing educator.”
- “Greetings mam, yesterday my parents asked me about the school, and how I have been adjusting after my month-long sick leave. I wanted to share this with you because I feel that nothing has changed because of how you have made sure that I come to pace with the class without feeling overburdened and understanding all the concepts. Thank you for being so considerate with all the extra hours you have arranged with me.”
- “Hello Sir/Mam, I have been waiting to find the right moment and share a piece of my life with you, hoping it would bring a smile to your face too. All my life, I have dealt with piercing gazes because of my learning disability. However, the last few weeks for me have been tremendously boosting. I came across someone like you, who saw me instead of my learning difficulty and didn’t even flinch for a second to pause and pay any attention to it. You just made me feel adequate and equal in all the ways possible, which has been a wholesome experience for me, allowing me to feel more comfortable around you. I hope to learn so much more from you in the upcoming months. Your generosity means the world to students like us.”
2. Instances of constructive feedback
- “Hello Mam/Sir, I have been meaning to share a few of my concerns with you, hoping that you would be able to help me resolve them in the best possible way. Lately, there have been a few students in the classroom who have been bullying me because of my weight. The laughter that interrupts the class every time I ask a question is rarely about a shared joke, but the scrutinized comments about me and my eating habits. While it has been really hurtful, I think it went unnoticed on your end, but I also understand that it is not possible for you to have a close eye on each and every student with such a huge class size. Thereby, I felt the need to share this with you, hoping for a resolution that allows me to feel more comfortable and inclusive. Thank you for sparing your time.”
- “Dear Miss Y, I just wanted to reach out to thank you for today’s lesson, it was really elaborate. I also wanted to bring a concern to your notice, that most of our math hours have been substituted with library hours in the last few days, and being a little slow in the subject, I am afraid that I will not be able to cope as efficiently as others. So, I was hoping to ask if you could please look into the matter and help me with certain concepts whenever you have the time.”
- “Greetings sir/mam! I was hoping to connect with you regarding the upcoming class test. It has been a little difficult to manage my hours with the change in the curriculum from online to offline. With extensive homework from various subjects, it has become a task for me to be able to study for the class tests, and I wanted to request a reduction in the amount of homework we receive to be able to study for the tests as well.”
3. Thanking a teacher
- “ We won, I didn’t, we did! It wouldn’t have been possible for me to win this competition without your constant push and motivation. I am grateful for the efforts you put in with me and the skills you instilled in the process. It feels more like a journey that I wouldn’t mind traveling again, and hope that a lot more students alike are able to cherish the gift of grit and knowledge that you are.”
- “ Dear Mr. Z, it has been a privilege to be mentored by you. I have been to 5 schools in the last 7 years due to my father’s job. Nevertheless, no other teacher has made me feel so safe and at home, as you did. You made sure that I was given my space to settle well and that my course and friend group aligned with my culture and values. Thank you for putting in efforts to know me beyond a student and I promise to remember you as more than just a teacher. Hope everyone gets to meet a teacher once in their lifetime. Thank You.”
- “Greetings Sir/Mam, I am writing this to share my heartfelt gratitude for your presence in my life. We are conditioned to think of academic learning as soon as we hear the word teacher, but I have something so beautiful associated with this word, just because of you. While you taught us about the bonds of chemicals, your methodology somehow propagated larger teaching about the bonds of life. Every time I remember something that you might have taught me, it always ends up giving me a different insight to the problem at hand. This is an extremely rare form of teaching that I was able to witness under your guidance. Please accept a lifetime of thankfulness from someone, who will forever be your student.”
Effectiveness and value of feedback for teachers, from students
Improving the quality of care and education provided at school through feedback may be a cost-effective and competent way of evolving the systems from within. While the job of a teacher entails giving feedback to the student through their remarks on test papers, report cards, parent-teacher meetings, and even personally, it needs to be a well-accepted practice where the student would actively engage in giving their authentic feedback to their teachers in a polite and formal form.
- Feedbacks allow educators to prepare targetted and effective strategies for their lessons to create a more considerate environment for the students.
- Technology today allows students to post anonymous feedback for their teachers. This helps the kids who do not like to put forth their concerns. This ensures even honest feedback, thus allowing the teachers to look closely at their teaching techniques and whether or not they have to change something.
- Feedback can be an effective way to inform the teachers about their teachings, their pace, strengths and weaknesses, and much more.
- If the student and the teacher view a particular concern from different perspectives, the provision of feedback here does allow not only learning for either party but also a wider scope of understanding the future students. This also ensures improved learning for the student regarding the concern.
- When the teachers know the kids personally, especially what’s going on in their minds, they would be able to cover enough ground. So, a discussion initiated through positive and constructive feedback can help an emotionally devoted teacher engage better with their students. This will also help them grow with the right set of skills to become an individual of stature and not just literate puppets.
Feedback tips and tricks
To ease out the feedback process, a student may use the insights mentioned below to feel confident, take a stand for themselves, or just be thankful, all the while respecting the gap between a teacher and student and making sure it stays as formal as possible.
1. Create an “I WISH MY TEACHER KNEW” box
Students can create a box with this title where they could put in anonymous or named notes to their teachers making it possible for the teachers to attend their classrooms with greater outreach and be accessible at all times. It can be a great tool for younger students and introverts to engage in this activity and propagate their message to their teachers.
2. Last day of the first week
If a student finds it difficult to adjust with a new teacher, it would be wise to give her a few days to try and settle themselves. Nonetheless, if the concerns persist, then being immediate while being patient can work. Consequently, reaching out on the last day of her first week would give her time to introspect the process and make changes during the weekend to a new week with a new strategy to bridge somehow the gap with the classroom of the previous educator.
For example, let the teacher know that you have a learning difficulty and it would mean a great deal if she spoke at a slower pace or just simplified the multiple instructions, then the environment and the studies would feel more inclusive to you.
3. Honesty is the best policy
Some teachers appreciate the dread honest behavior of the kids, as they get a room for improvement; at the same time, they get a check of whether or not they need to change their teaching technique or the environment in order to make it better for the children. In this case, the feedback can be honest, to the point, with a suggestion that the teacher can implement in their class.
4. Allow perspectives
Looking for different perspectives is crucial. An open discussion allows the teacher and student to share their perspectives. This also ensures a healthy evolution of both.
For example— An extremely bright student might be feeling upset because the teacher has been asking her to keep quiet whenever during class quizzes. In such a case, the student could engage by sharing, “ Mam, I have been feeling a little disheartened for not being allowed to participate in the class quizzes over the last few days. I wouldn’t mind apologizing for any wrong I might have done to upset you, and I would love to become an example of a student for you.”
5. Keep the quality and quantity in check
Talking about the quality, it is crucial that the feedback given to the teacher is formal and polite. At the same time, quantity matters too! This means keeping the feedback as concise and to the point as possible. The ideal feedback must thank the teacher for their efforts, point out the problem, and suggest an alternative.
These tips and tricks may be useful for a student to make sure their relationship is intact and formal. It definitely allows the students to focus on academics. We believe that a few more examples would help in understanding the possible ways to create a distinguished way of providing feedback.
Communication is often complete when both the stakes give out their views. While teachers may give out opinions in tests and parent meetings, students may get fewer chances to revert back to their comments. Feedback is one of them that eases the process. To ensure confidence in pupils, multiple strategies and examples are elucidated above.
With all the tips and tools mentioned above, we believe that the importance of feedback in the classroom has been explained which makes the process more cyclic than linear. Ensure to comprehend these insights to start bridging pupils with your swifter.