5 strategies to take teacher feedback effectively
So, what’s the secret to turning a “bad” comment from a teacher into a helpful learning opportunity? For starters, keep your emotions out of it. Constructive commentary from an educator can foster personal growth if you let it. From there, you can leverage one (or some!) of the following five strategies.
1. Adopt an education growth mindset
One of the fundamental principles for accepting feedback is cultivating a growth mindset, which helps students develop resilience and persistence in the face of challenges or setbacks in their education.
When a teacher identifies an area to improve, students can consider it an opportunity to refine their abilities instead of a reflection of their worth. Setbacks and mistakes are an inherent part of the learning process, and progress requires persistence and perseverance. This mindset can help you bounce back from setbacks, learn from mistakes and continue making progress.
What does that look like? Consider the following:
- Understand that feedback is not a personal attack but an opportunity for improvement.
- Embrace the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through dedication and effort.
Ultimately, a growth mindset lets you view feedback as a valuable tool for progress rather than a criticism of your abilities.
2. Listen actively and reflect
When teachers share their assessments and observations, actively listen to their comments and take them to heart. Active listening means not only hearing what’s being said but also processing the information intentionally so the insight can be implemented later.
To do this, try to avoid becoming defensive or dismissive. Instead, reflect on the feedback and consider its underlying purpose. Analyze the areas your teacher highlighted for improvement and identify specific actions to address them. Reflecting on feedback allows you to maximize your learning potential.
Kimberly M. Underwood, PhD, MBA, University Research chair at University of Phoenix, says, “Anger, confusion, defensiveness and hurt are all natural, human reactions to feedback, so it is important to acknowledge your feelings. Once you have done so, reflecting on the feedback, using emotional intelligence, can help you process these emotions by allowing you to think about what you can improve and future actions to better develop in these areas.”