It is good to recieve feedback on your work, right? Constructive criticism is always helpful, right? Well then, why does it seem that teacher evaluations are preceded by a feeling of trepidation, I might even say “dread”. Something to remember when you are teaching, and you give constructive criticism, is that there a lot of apprehension associated with feedback, even if it is essentially a positive thing.
My teacher feedback, given to me by a very diplomatic experienced fellow teacher at the company, turned out to be very constructive. After I taught the lesson which she observed, I was asked to do a self evaluation. This was submitted to her in a written form just after the lesson was taught. I was asked to say how the lesson went, and summarize the good and the bad points. Then, I met and from my notes, presented my own ideas about what had happened. Finally, I met my evaluator in person and she first brought the positive things, and then the negative things with suggestions.
For me, I think this is a good indication of how constructive criticism should be expressed, because I did not feel threatened by it:
1)assiduous note taking
2)self-evaluation is good as a first step
3)peer evaluation should be given with the positive first
4)problems should always be accompanied by suggestions
In my case, what was the good and the bad? What were the suggestions?
I will call my evaluator JS to predict the names of the innocent. JS said that I presented my topic which was prepositions, to my students very visually. This was right for the level, which was starter. In other words, my use of pictures helped to illustrate the concept.
She further said, that I was able to connect the use of prepositions to numerous practical exercises; for example, I got the students to describe two different sets of pictures in the textbook about office settings, and got them to describe the location of various work locations relative to each other. So, I was able to use numerous visual examples.
She also mentioned, that I was patient with my students and allowed them to process their own answers to questions. She said that I waited for them to phrase the answers.
However, on the criticism side of the list, I react to quickly to questions and give too many explanations as answers. This can throw off the students. Sometimes, she said, a teacher must give a simpler answer and filter out alternatives. This could be viewed as a helpful “lie” about language, in some respects, but it is more about editing what is impractical to students.
she said that I needed to think more about my answers to questions, and give myself time to process the answers. JS said that it takes time to understand what you are being asked, so, as a teacher to do the same things for myself as I do for my students. Give myself time to pause, think, and respond.
This was summarized on the data base of my company, so that I could reflect on the advice on future.
I think the evaluation was professional and great advice which I will definitely use.