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Getting and giving feedback

Mentoring Teachers / Getting and giving feedback

Improving with input from mentors and students

Feedback is crucial to a pre-service teacher. Research on how mentors give feedback shows that it typically too vague and nearly always overly positive. If you are a mentor, the resources on this page will help you learn how to negotiate with your teacher candidate what to give feedback on (a lesson design, face-to-face instruction, classroom management, etc.) and how to give feedback that makes a difference in how novices enact different parts of teaching.

Three types of mentor-novice conversations

There are three types of mentoring conversations, each used for different purposes; calibrating, consulting, and collaborating. Each is defined by who identifies problems of practice, leads the analysis of teaching outcomes, and suggests next steps.

Download: Three types of mentor-novice conversations

Feedback tips straight from our novices

We asked teacher candidates (TCs), “What makes for effective feedback?” Here are some tips we heard from them that are consistent with research on effective feedback. These can be used for any kinds of feedback that you (mentors) provide. It helps to pay attention to the needs of novices.

Download: Feedback tips

Feedback index cards--ready-made!

During busy days, feedback index cards can provide a quick way for mentors and TCs to interact around something the TC is intentionally working on. These index cards can be used anytime and can but need not go along with formal observations.

Download: Feedback cards--ready made

8 Sweet strategies for conversations

The following strategies can help mentors talk to their novice about planning ahead, making choices, and responding to challenges. These strategies are especially useful when paired with the 3 types of mentoring conversations. These are well-tested suggestions.

Download: 8 Strategies for effective conversations with novices