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3 Types of Feedback for Professional Learning Communities

If we want our teachers to provide timely, relevant feedback to our students, then we need provide timely, relevant feedback to our teachers and teams. Often, leaders overlook the power of providing feedback to their professional learning communities, or PLCs, and honestly--it's a big, missed opportunity of support.

According to John Hattie's Visible Learning research, Teacher Estimates of Achievement has the 2nd highest impact on student achievement as of 2023. When we look at the components of this influence, we clearly see that a teacher's ability to provide feedback on learning is a critical piece.

If feedback is an important part of learning for student learners, why would it be any different for adult learners?

Providing feedback should be a non-negotiable part of your PLC process. In my previous post, 8 Questions to Ask Your PLC, I share simple questions to prompt curiosity within the team. Part of giving feedback is modeling different ways we can think and approach systems and tasks. The 8 questions provide some simple examples of how to do that.

professional learning communities feedback

Still, it's not uncommon for building or instructional leaders to ask us, "So, what types of feedback should we give?" Now honestly, this had me stumped at first. I don't know if it's because I was an ELA teacher so providing feedback was an ingrained part of my classroom, or if was because no one taught me how to give feedback to PLCs...we just all learned it together.

In my experience, I learned how to give (and not give!) feedback to my teams through trial and error. Learning by doing--to reference DuFour. There were times when I typed something as feedback that should have been an in-person conversation.

I learned.

There were times when I asked 4-6 questions and overwhelmed a team when honestly one would have done the trick.

Again, I learned.

While I LOVE the fact that instructional leaders want guidance on how to give feedback, I'd also offer that while I can share with you what we've learned...your best learning will come from your own experience of trial and error. I believe it truly matters most that you provide the feedback every week, without fail. Your feedback is a tangible measure of your consistency to show up as an instructional leader. You don't have to be perfect; you have to be consistent.

But! For my friends who really just want to see a short, simple example of how to give PLC feedback--I created this little graphic for you.

3 Types of Feedback for Professional Learning Communities

I unpack meaningful ways to give feedback to professional learning communities in my short course, Strengthening Feedback for Our PLCs. If you're looking for a Carrie-led version of this learning, I highly recommend you check it out!

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