Mentoring Matters for Elementary Principals: October 2014
Work toward your personal fit with these seven stress-stifling strategies.
Making the Most of Your Mentor:
Growing as a leader involves tapping into the expertise and experience of your mentor. Here you’ll find 10 questions you might pose at your monthly meeting to gain insight and ideas to support your own leadership development.
Leading Learning—Giving Effective Feedback:
In his EdWeek blog, author and educational consultant Peter DeWitt discusses the key tenets of delivering effective feedback. He cites Grant Wiggins “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback” and builds a rationale using research from John Hattie.
Referencing the research, DeWitt argues that having a goal is fundamental to effective feedback. What is the student’s goal? What is the teacher’s goal? What is your leadership goal? We need to be driven by goals, and as educational leaders, effective feedback should be one of our most important goals.
Receiving quality, goal-referenced feedback is engaging—think of that student who strives to move to the next level in her video game. Along the way, she receives feedback that keeps her engaged and motivates her to work toward the next level. Or, consider the runner who pursues a faster time with each successive run. The timer (splits) provides a form of feedback that keeps the runner engaged and motivated.
Though praise (Good Job! Way to go!! I like that.) has value, it will not move our students, our teachers, or us to the next level of performance. We need effective (descriptive) feedback. Hattie notes the significance of clearly understanding what the student or the teacher knows relative to the goal so that we can match subsequent instruction to the present understanding and stretch the learner toward the goal. This involves collecting and providing descriptive feedback.
“School leaders don't need to give advice. They need to provide specific examples that will help teachers meet their goals. The feedback provided can be simple and concrete, and schools leaders can offer follow up videos (Teaching Channel) or links to articles and blogs that will provide additional examples,” claims DeWitt.
The bottom line, there needs to be an agreed upon goal toward which the learner aspires. Wiggins seven key essentials to feedback:
The full articles provide specific examples of how you might provide descriptive feedback to your teachers.
Access the full article
Grant Wiggins article
November Monthly Checklist:
These lists are intended as a guide—we encourage you to process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that may need your attention!