Positive Feedback Please!

This is the sluggish time of year in which teachers and students feel run down and overwhelmed, counting down the days until Spring Break. But before a much needed vacation, there is so much to do: report cards, staff meetings, conferences. I went to my writing meeting last night feeling very stressed out.

I have been participating in an Advanced Writing Institute for the San Diego Area Writing Project. Over the course of three meetings, we learned how to be better presenters and designed a writing presentation.  Last night we were asked to work on a powerpoint to demonstrate something that we hadn’t taught to other teachers before-something we had done in our classroom that we cared about. Writing colleagues were there to help encourage, brainstorm or just listen. At the end of the meeting, all the teachers shared out what they had crafted. Hearing everyone’s ideas validated our work and reaffirmed pride in my job.

It hardly every happens that teachers have time to work on individual projects that they care about and get feedback and support from their peers. This reminded me of the value of feedback. Humans crave feedback. We want to know we are doing the right thing, that we are on the right track. Specific constructive feedback encourages individuals to work harder towards their goal.

This month I began blogging seriously for the first time. I have several blogs out there in cyberspace but never moved past a few posts. This month I started the Slice of Life Challenge and so did my class. At the halfway point I asked students to write down how they were feeling about blogging. I received an almost unanimous support for blogging. For some it acted as a diary to document their day. For others it was a way to learn about their classmates. Some loved to be creative and write about the world in different ways.

I read my work aloud to the class daily. Today we slowed it down and looked for specific golden lines. All the students posted comments on my work. It spurred a conversation about the word skittering. The shared writing is working. They are copying one another’s work and giving great feedback. The feeling in the room is one of a tight-knit community. We are building upon our support network of writers, readers and editors day after day, post after post.


1 Comment

  1. nickoprather88beep

    March 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I feel the same way being stressed and waiting for soing break to relax with so many things scheduled lacrosse 4 and sometimes 5 a week

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