|Image by Alan Levine [CC BY 2.0]|
After my last post, I tweeted a series of questions, challenging teachers (I suppose) to try asking their students for feedback about their teaching. Here's one:
What do you think you would hear if you surveyed your students about your teaching? #edchat #elemchat #mschat— Dave Mulder (@d_mulder) January 14, 2016
One of my Twitterfriends, Amy Bowker, took the challenge, and tweeted this to her class Twitter account:
Wow, right? Talk about making yourself vulnerable and opening yourself up to possible critique! A few hours later, Amy shared this with me in response (and gave me permission to share it here as well):
I asked "What do you think of my teaching" from @d_mulder Here is what my @techtitans4 responded. #edchat #elemchat pic.twitter.com/N2eAG1nUnd— Amy Bowker (@amyebowker) January 14, 2016
Isn't that amazing?
Clearly, Amy's students think highly of her. Perhaps we might conclude it's easy to ask for feedback if we are pretty sure the response will be positive, right? I was glad that Amy also tweeted this in response:
@d_mulder I knew my @techtitans4 would respond favourably and yet, I was still so nervous. Takes guts to ask— Amy Bowker (@amyebowker) January 14, 2016
Perhaps it's not so easy after all.
Teaching is a very public profession. Our students are always watching. Our colleagues and administrators might have a feel for how things are unfolding in our classrooms, but our students are ever-present. The very nature of our work is putting ourselves on display, and our students are savvy judges of our work. They are uniquely positioned to provide us feedback on our teaching practice, because they are the ones who are there for it, and they are the ones we are doing it for.
You are teaching "for them"...aren't you?
Would you dare to ask your students, "What do you think of my teaching?" Do you have the guts to make yourself that vulnerable? Are you brave enough to try it? And what difference could their honest feedback make for your teaching practice?