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How to Utilize a PLC Observation Feedback Template

Timely, intentional feedback is essential for student and teacher growth. Feedback is a strategy that everyone can continue to learn about and grow limitlessly in.  We believe that giving professional learning teams timely, intentional feedback on their work is one of the top practices to achieve a growth culture of PLCs in our buildings. 

There are all sorts of articles and tips out there on the best way to give adults feedback.  Start with a positive, end with a positive…the old sandwich method!  Only give one positive and one growth area.  Be empathetic and respectful in your language. Don’t do the sandwich method! Use bullet points; keep it short.  You know what I mean!

Like all things, we are making something that is simple far too hard.

Feedback to adults must follow the research too; it needs to be timely and intentional.  Anytime you are tasked to give feedback to a colleague it is important to build a foundation of trust. 

One of the ways to build trust is through clarity of expectations and process. 

Taking the time to process the following questions can do just that.  For example, think through and communicate:

  • How frequently will feedback be given?

  • What format will feedback be given?

  • Should the receiver of the feedback respond, how?

  • How will the feedback be used?

  • What are the expectations, indicators, etc.?

  • Are there any expectations that need clarified?

  • Will everyone receive feedback? 

We recommend giving feedback as frequently as the PLCs occur.

When you first begin this work, the feedback tends to be celebrating what is being done well.  As PLCs progress and grow in their work, you can provide not only timely, but intentional feedback as well. I work with many teams who are dedicated to providing feedback, and to help those leaders, I created a Google form that they could use to align and gather observations.

professional learning community feedback template

I designed the feedback template to flow through the discussions of a proactive PLC meeting.  What's a proactive PLC meeting? It's one where teams are in alignment with their curriculum, pacing, and assessments, therefore they can anticipate upcoming struggles in the learning and proactively plan scaffolds, supports, and extensions.

I included the pieces of the discussion that are typically present in a highly effective proactive PLC:

  • Norms and Goals

  • Celebrations and Feedback from admin/coach

  • Date Reflection + Next Steps

  • What do we want students to know, understand, and do?

  • How will we know they've learned it?

  • How will we provide support to the students who need it?

  • How will we extend knowledge or understanding?

  • Wrap-up/Next Steps

Each section has sub indicators that provide guidance to the observer providing the feedback. As a PLC meeting is observed, I check off the pieces of the discussion that are heard or seen.  I also include a space for an open ended summary of the feedback.  This is where I capture the next “challenges” for their growth.  Depending on whether we are in year 1 of our PLC work, or year 3 of our PLC work, the bottom section is a place for me to designate whether they are meeting expectations of each level of the work.

We have found that giving this timely, intentional feedback to professional learning teams is a difference maker.  When thinking about all the things that we have on our plates, we often have to prioritize. 

Done well, Professional Learning Communities lead to collective efficacy and encourage the use of formative data to drive instruction. According to John Hattie’s Visible Learning research, these are the top two influences on learning that  we need to prioritize. Investing the time to align your PLC feedback is one way you model the learning process as the leader of your own building.

I hope you explore the PLC Feedback Template I've created or create your own. Let us know what feedback practices are making a difference for your teams--we'd love to hear from you!

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