Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Harvard EdCasts & "I WIsh My Teacher Knew"

One of the teachers I am privileged to work with shared two things this week, and I can't keep either to myself.

FIrst, if you do not already know about them, the

Harvard Graduate School of Education publishes EdCasts 
(written posts with an audio podcast).

Second, the Harvard EdCast from October 19, 2016 is compelling and is titled:

Equally powerful to the podcast was hearing a teacher I work with describe doing this same activity with his high school students mid-year.  While some student responses were predictable, surface level, or silly, some were profound, including:
  • I wish my teacher knew... I am so afraid I won't pass high school, that sometimes it's easier not to try at all than to try but fail.
  • I wish my teacher knew... I hate my life.
    (This came from a seemingly popular, confidant, and happy student.)

Another teacher at the same school (sheesh, I work with incredible people!) used a Google Form to collect feedback from her students about her teaching and her class.  She told them the goal was to help her grow and improve.  Many responses validated her creative approach to teaching and student-centered learning, but some gave her a clear direction for where to focus her energy.  One student wrote:
  • You say you care about us, but you never ask about our weekend or life outside of school.
She fosters a positive classroom culture and has great rapport with her students, and still, from this feedback, she committed to being intentional about improving in this area

Equal to the impact of asking insight and feedback is how we receive and respond to it.  These teachers viewed it as a growth opportunity, not a personal affront.  They wanted to reach their students, and they used their students' voices to learn how.

So, do you have the courage and growth-mindset to ask for feedback and insight from your students or your employees, then take it to heart?  I hope so!

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