Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Timely Feedback

One of my long ago friends' father is the world's nicest man. He uses phrases like "oh my gunnysacks" and others I never fully understood. What I recall most fondly about him was his honest appreciation for his wife. On more than one occassion, I had the opportunity to dine with his family, and without fail, my friend's father, after finishing the meal, would declare "Cathy, this was the best...you've ever made." No matter what the meal. Grilled cheese--the greatest. Peanut butter and jelly--the greatest.
It's too bad I'm not like that because my student teacher, who is already competent, and capable of becoming great, needs my regular affirmation. When I student taught, my cooperating teacher rarely praised a lesson, but I always knew he found my work acceptable. Once, after I asked him what he thought about a potential lesson, he only said, "I wouldn't do it that way, but you can try it." After I taught the lesson, he asked for a copy; but, he never said it was good.
The funny thing is, for as much as she wants to know if I approve of her teaching, I am wondering if I am providing her with the guidance and experience she needs.


At 5:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Braemar says:
Maybe she reads you blog. LOL

Otherwise, so much emphasis is placed on self-reflection that it is difficult to give honest constructive feedback for student teachers. Being positive, and honest is a tricky line. If your person is an adult-acting college student and is truly working toward being a strong educator, I believe she should take constructive suggestions as well as positive points as she moves forward. Saying nothing or relying only upon the “what did you think yourself?” is not broad enough to be helpful in her development.
Certainly the same style and actions that work for you will probably not work for her. But, if she is fair, firm and caring it is obvious to some students, and she will blossom. Chances are she will not teach in DRG I. It is much easier to be successful in other DRGs.
Like NY, NY: If she can do it there...


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