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Pre-Briefing and Debriefing

Short discussions you have with the teacher candidate before and after a teaching episode, an encounter with a student or an interaction with a parent.


A 3-minute guide to Pre-briefing and De-briefing
“It’s been most successful when I would just ask them questions, like ‘What did you see? What did you hear? Who was engaged? Why did they seem to be engaged? Who wasn’t engaged? Why do you think they weren’t engaged? What do you think we could do to- what do you think they needed?’ So rather than me walking through any single lesson, I think the biggest impact was… asking questions of them.” —Mentor 2018

Tools to Use Today

Check out the guide to this practice and tools you can print and use together.

  • Feedback tips

    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 tips can be used for any kinds of feedback that you (mentors) provide. Download > Feedback Tips

  • Feedback index cards

    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 PDF: Feedback...

  • Mentor’s guide: Pre- and debriefing check-ins

    What is this practice? Pre-briefing and debriefing check-ins refer to short discussions you have with the teacher candidate before and after a teaching episode, an encounter with a student, or an interaction with a parent. These can be episodes where either the mentor or the...

So, What's This All About?

A short video to show you the basics of the practice, examples from classroom life, and when to use it.

Why is it important?

Pre-briefings help you identify what is worth observing in the upcoming enactment (enactment = what you or your TC will be doing). Pre-briefings focus the perception of the person doing the observations, so that they can attend to the most relevant aspects of the situation and give the person doing the enactment useful feedback. Similarly, debriefings are important because structured reflection enables TCs to make sense of a practice and how to improve it.


We’d appreciate your feedback, the site and its resources are works in progress.