Blog, Leadership Skills and Implementation

7 Elements for Effective School Leadership Feedback

By The SHARE Team

Effective school leadership feedback is a necessity when it comes to running a school smoothly. Teachers need that stability in order to make their classrooms as effective as they need to be. A leader must have certain qualities if they are going to effectively lead and give proper feedback to everyone else.

According to Susan M. Brookhart in her book, How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students, giving good feedback is one of the key ways to help people understand where they need to go and what knowledge or skills they need to develop in order to achieve their goals. Within a school setting, school leadership feedback is vital to a school running smoothly. It helps keep everyone on the same page as the teachers are laboring with their students and communicating with parents and the rest of the school’s leadership.

In an article called “Educational Leadership Feedback for Learning,” Grant Wiggins explains some research showing that more feedback with less teaching is the key to greater learning. If students are receiving feedback from their teachers and even peers, fewer students would get lost in the cracks of education.

There are seven essentials for effective leadership:

1. Actionable

Effective feedback has certain undeniable characteristics. They are concrete, specific, and useful. The feedback provides actionable information about what went and also about what went wrong. Having detailed assessments will allow everyone on the team, leadership, and employees alike, to understand exactly what they need to do next time to meet their stated goals.

2. Consistent

Even in parenting, consistency is crucial. Nurturing good behavior and disciplining negative behavior are needed on a consistent basis. School leadership feedback helps maintain that consistency for teachers in an education setting.

3. Goal-Referenced

Someone who is goal-referenced has a clearly defined goal to which they are committed and will take action to achieve it. The information collected from those actions often reveal whether the decisions they made in pursuit of the goal were the best or if an alternate course would be more successful the next time. School leadership feedback must be clear in relaying their goals or the goals being set will not be achieved which is demoralizing.

4. Ongoing

School leadership feedback allows an ongoing evaluation and encouraging the employees to adjust quickly based on their reviews. Great achievers and problem solvers all have the ability to adapt to new information and circumstances. Life is not about not making mistakes, but learning from them.

5. Tangible and Transparent

Strong leadership will create detailed, accessible goals and explain how to reach them. Unclear directions create ambiguity and hazy understanding. The feedback that anyone can grasp is seen when anyone coming with their own independent goals can take the information and apply it to their own situation successfully. School leadership feedback that provides clear goals and tangible results will help teachers in their classrooms.

6. Timely

As with most everything, timing is key. Giving feedback or critique must be done in an appropriate manner. In school leadership feedback cases, immediate results are not always ideal. It is important to wait for the right time; but not delay for too long either. Find the balance of waiting for the right attitude and time for receiving a pep talk and not waiting so long that the lessons are forgotten and, therefore, useless.

7. User-friendly, specific and personalized

School leadership deals with more than just teachers, but also students and their parents. It is vital that the feedback being offered is specific to whomever it is directed. Even with purely accurate information from experts, it is wasted if the one meant to receive it cannot understand it so effective communication is a crucial part of success.

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