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