Make Feedback a Loop, Not a Line

Nov 04 2PM
Make Feedback a Loop, Not a Line

We’ve all been on the giving or receiving end of professional feedback and most likely experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly.  When it comes to improving classroom and school culture, individual feedback is critical. But it’s not enough just to give or get feedback. For feedback to result in positive classroom culture changes, school leaders and teachers must engage in a data-driven, continuous coaching cycle of getting better together.

Many of us are used to the concept of a data cycle when it comes to improving academic instruction. Now it’s time to apply the same premise to classroom culture strategies using one-on-one coaching and feedback.  Follow the Kickboard Culture Data Cycle to help teachers make positive changes in classroom culture, no matter where they are on their journey toward excellence.

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Reflect on the Data

It’s always nice to have a second pair of eyes and ears to note what’s happening with things like management of space, behavior narration, and ratios of positive interactions. After a coach completes an observation, sit down with the teacher and start by reflecting on data collected.

Don’t limit the reflection to just information collected during that one classroom visit. You now have behavior trends easily accessible in Kickboard! Combining that data with your observational data makes for a powerful body of evidence upon which to reflect.  Review both your observation notes and the data on Kickboard in order to identify patterns and trends.

We suggest you identify:

  • Patterns and trends in behavior and observational data
  • Positive data points to celebrate
  • Areas for improvement



Identify Challenge to Address

During this stage of the cycle, the coach and teacher will explore improvement areas and hone in on a single issue that needs adjusting and will lead to a difference in classroom culture. Make sure you don’t jump to actions before you explore the true nature of the challenge.

To identify a challenge:

  • Select the area to focus on now
  • Discuss all the possible contributing factors of the challenge
  • Narrow down to the root cause of the problem. One way to do this is to ask a series of “why” questions to probe down to the heart of the issue.



Collaborate on a Plan

Once your specific focus area is selected, it’s time to collaborate on an action plan that specifically addresses your chosen area for improvement.  

During this phase you will:

  • Brainstorm solutions together
  • Share effective practices or lessons learned
  • Share resources
  • Create and commit to a plan with
    • Specific action steps
    • Responsibilities for leader and teacher
    • A short timeline, likely a week or two



Take Action on the Plan:

Next, implement the action plan. Leaders may have responsibilities in this plan as well as the teacher--remember this is a joint effort of improvement!

Make sure to:

  • Implement the plan as it was written
  • Monitor yourself for fidelity throughout the life cycle of the plan
  • Support each other with the promised action steps, resources, and accountability partnering



Evaluate and Reflect Again:

At the end of the timeline, be sure to close the loop!  Coach and teacher will come back together again to progress monitor the plan and reflect, much the same way you did in the beginning. Ask yourselves:

  • Did the data improve?
  • Are you satisfied with the amount of progress?

If the data improved sufficiently, celebrate the wins. Then analyze observational and behavior data and repeat the cycle with a new area of improvement. If not, go back through the cycle, making adjustments to see if the data improves.  Be sure not to just repeat the same actions if the data suggests your actions didn’t work!



Remember, no leader is perfect, no teacher is perfect, and and no classroom has perfect culture - there is always room for improvement. Using the Kickboard Culture Data Cycle is about getting better together and helping each other nurture positive, joy-filled places for children to learn and grow.




Need someone to help hold you accountable or support you with implementing this data cycle and improving your culture coaching practices? Give us a call! (855) 456-1946



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