- Middle school language arts teacher Frank Ward writes for Edutopia that thinking like a coach can greatly improve educators' approach to feedback, modeling and explaining how students can improve their work, and produce better outcomes in the process.
- Using writing as an example, he suggests that all feedback should be meaningful and specific, providing examples rather than just instructing students to "use more transitions."
- Additionally, feedback should focus on the positives, be limited to what is necessary, occur throughout an assignment or project rather than after its completion, and be interactive rather than a one-sided conversation.
By thinking like a coach, educators can provide students with more robust feedback that can help them to better tackle a problem the next time around, while also focusing on what they did right. And administrators can do more than just encouraging classroom instructors to adopt the approach by implementing it in their own daily line of thinking.
Many administrators have previously taught in the classroom and likely have plenty of insight they can offer to those teaching in their schools or districts — especially younger educators still learning the ropes. Beyond telling educators where they can improve, administrators can show them and provide examples from their own experiences. In doing so, they're also effectively modeling a coaching approach to feedback that educators can then take back to the classroom for use with students. Ultimately, everyone improves when feedback is both detailed in how to improve while also limited in scope to focus on only the most important takeaways.