Feedback shouldn’t be a secret whether it be in school or life. This isn’t anything profound but it really hit home this summer while watching my son play All Stars for baseball.
Long story short, he’s been a starter for the past two years and then this year he sat the bench. He was confused and he didn’t know why. In his mind, he gave 100% at practice and put in extra work on his hitting because he knew he’d been struggling. He constantly wondered what it took to get playing time. As I listened to him try to come to his own conclusions it made me wonder why the coach wasn’t talking to him. Why should he be left to wonder what it takes? Why should he be trying to figure out on his own what areas he needs to improve in? Shouldn’t his coach play a role?
The baseball field can be just like the classroom (or really, school in general). A student shouldn’t be left wondering what the target is they’re supposed to reach or coming to their own conclusion about how they are doing. Teachers need to be clear to their students on the goal their striving for and what they need to do to get there. Feedback should be given along the way to support the student in attaining the goal. It shouldn’t be a secret.
As a leader I also need to be able to give teachers feedback on how they are doing in order to help them improve. It shouldn't be a sign off at evaluation time with no feedback and support along the way. Feedback should be part of the process.
All that time my son spent wondering he could have been working, if he had received the feedback.
Don't keep it a secret.