Are we truly ready to receive feedback?
We hear all of the time just how important feedback is in relation to our own teaching practice. On Twitter, many educators constantly solicit feedback from others and they do this because deep down they want to improve. Soliciting feedback seems like the right thing to do, but are we truly ready to receive it? Personally, I put a great deal of time and energy into the planning that I do in order to have maximum impact on student learning.
This is what helps me to become a better teacher. I blog about my teaching and learning journey as it helps me to reflect on every aspect of my profession. However, I need to be careful because there are times when I grip on too tight. I believe so hard in what I do at times that it actually narrows my vision and when it comes time to receive feedback, I can't help but take it personally. It can feel a bit painful and hard to accept.
The reality is that as open as we are to receiving feedback and knowing that we'll improve as a result, it sometimes isn't so easy. When I catch myself feeling this way, it is a definite sign that I need to back away and take that metaphorical deep breath to calm myself and remove emotion. Only then can I be open to receiving the feedback in a proactive manner. I've gotten a hell of a lot better at receiving feedback, but there are times that it still isn't easy.
The purpose of this blog post is to get you to think about your own emotions, thoughts, and mindset when you are receiving feedback about your own teaching or any aspect of your life. Are you truly open to it or are you guarded at times? If you are guarded or feeling closed, perhaps that deep breath and letting emotion go will assist in opening your mind more consistently. This allows us to truly reap the benefits that feedback can have in our lives.
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.