There’s lots of buzz about feedback. It is discussed on social media, raised in the context of teacher evaluation, cited as an element of PLCs, and deemed integral to the interactions between teachers and students. Joellen Killion addresses it in an excellent new book, The Feedback Process: Transforming Feedback for Professional Learning (Learning Forward, 2015). The pervasiveness of the topic of feedback made me curious: What’s the big deal? Read more
Terry Morganti-Fisher has 30 years of collaborative, results-driven, continuous organizational and professional development experience that includes senior-level management in a large urban public school district.
View full profile
The quickest way to get me to disengage from most anything is to make me feel that I don’t have a say in what’s going to have an impact on me. That is especially true if I’ve been asked to invest my time and effort where a long-term commitment is required. On the other hand, whether leading educational change or being affected by it, I fully commit when I experience being listened to and am part of a collaborative effort for the greater good.
“This is a social justice issue,” Superintendent Demond Means tells a room full of educators and community members. “All means all! We made a commitment as educators when we walked into our classrooms for the first time that we will reach every kid in our classroom. We didn’t make a commitment to reach 75% of the students.” (Promoting Excellence for All: A report from the State Superintendent’s Task Force on Wisconsin’s Achievement Gap, page 8)
You might not expect to hear these remarks from the superintendent of the district named the #1 K-12 district in the state of Wisconsin the past three years, whose high school achieved an ACT composite score of 26 and whose middle school, it was learned just the day before, is being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.
As a child, I loved to sit on our front porch to watch approaching thunderstorms play out over our small town in central Wisconsin. I always knew just when to take my place on the porch, positioning myself in front of my grandmother’s window. It wasn’t because I had seen or heard a weather forecast, but because there was something about the uncertainty of the air that signaled the arriving storm. First there was stillness, then rumbling, followed by the full fury of the storm – lightning, thunder, swirling winds and rain.
We continue to be amazed at the number of teachers who view professional development as something that is done to them– planned and led by others and often disconnected from a teacher’s actual practice or the school’s culture. One would think that by now we’d realize how silly this notion is and that we gain little in the way of results from such an approach.