In Henry County Schools, we are encouraging others to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Through our movement to personalize learning, we are asking our students to step outside the norms of what is established education and re-imagine what the educational environment could be like. If we are asking our students to be uncomfortable and develop a growth mindset, then it only makes sense that we as the leaders would also embody a growth mindset as well.
Last week I read a quote by Seth Gordin which has been bouncing around in my head. He says, “If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.” I believe that we are all leaders. In the lives of children, we have to take the lead. We have to model what we hope to see in our students. As Brene Brown articulates, we must become who we want our children to become, not just tell them. Evaluation systems for teachers are supposed to include feedback and conferencing, but because we lack clear models of how this looks in adult lives, we don’t know how to model healthy feedback loops for students. Are we, as the adults in the lives of students, seeking feedback from our students on our teaching skill? Are we, as the life-long educators, seeking ways to improve through collaborative conversations with peers and our evaluators? If we want our students to engage in healthy feedback, are we modeling healthy feedback amongst the adult students in the school building?
Next week, I’ll be attending the Jobs For the Future Summit where I’ll share our work on feedback loops to increase student agency with people who sit on all sides of the education, workforce, and policy table. I’ll participate on a panel where we discuss Assessments to Support Deeper Learning with fellow Assessment for Learning grantees. I’m excited to discuss how we believe that feedback loops will help increase student agency which will impact social mobility. Follow us next week at #jffsummit
I’m curious, have you had a model for effective feedback in your life? Might you be willing to share?