How do you give constructive feedback to other teachers? A conversation with Eddie Woo

This video was originally published 2 August 2017.

Eddie Woo chats to CESE about maths, teaching and what works best. Listen to the full conversation.

Eddie Woo explains how he gives constructive feedback to other teachers

The very human impulse to receive feedback and just take that personally is something which is very challenging to overcome. I don’t think that there’s any silver bullet to actually make sure that the words coming out of my mouth are going to land on you and be received in a positive way to say, oh this is not about criticising my ability, it’s about developing me further, you know. I don’t think there’s one way that can be done, or even that there’s any particular suite of ways of doing this that is always 100% immediately successful. I think the most important ingredient to add into the way that I lead my staff to ensure that staff can hear that feedback and realise, okay, I want to take this feedback and I want to learn how to be better, is to develop that culture of being able to say, look, we’re here for the kids. This isn’t about us in the room. We are the least important person in the room. So therefore what this is really about is about doing the absolute best job we can do to ensure every student is learning, no matter where they are on the learning continuum, we’re moving them forward, we’re helping them improve, we’re helping them understand what they themselves are capable of and the kinds of heights that they can reach.
When the focus is placed on improving things for the kids, we can, all of us, take our ego, put it aside and realise, alright, yeah, I’m doing some things really well. That’s great. I’m not here to improve because I have to. I’m here to improve because I want to and I have the opportunity to, and why wouldn’t I, if I can improve the experience of students out there? I think developing that culture and constantly drawing our attention to what all teachers do, this is about doing work that benefits students. That’s the key ingredient.

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