Rocking Teacher Feedback: There Are Levels to This


Let’s dive into teacher feedback – a powerful tool in nurturing our teachers and fostering a school that learns. Like sports coaching strategies, effective feedback can be the key to transforming a good teacher into a great one. Let’s explore the three crucial levels that can impact teaching practices and enhance student learning while understanding how each level builds on the other for ultimate success.

1. Before the Moment: Level I The Setup

Imagine yourself as the quarterback getting ready for the big game. What transpires before you step onto the field? You diligently study the playbook, analyze your opponents, and fine-tune your strategy. This is akin to what we refer to as “Before the Moment” feedback for teachers – a thoughtful pregame preparation in which teachers focus on curriculum and instruction.

Here, teachers receive detailed lesson plan feedback, engage in collaborative planning meetings to align curriculum and instruction, and rehearse part of a challenging lesson. It’s reminiscent of coaches strategizing and practicing plays before the actual game. The goal is not merely to catch mistakes during the live action but to intervene before the whistle blows. It’s the huddle before the game, where the team discusses plays and gears up for success. This strategic setup lays the foundation for what comes next.

2. In the Moment: Level II Adapting on the Fly

Let’s shift our focus to “In the Moment” teacher feedback – envision a basketball coach shouting instructions during a crucial play. In the teaching context, this type of feedback revolves around making instant adjustments to teacher behavior for maximum impact on student learning.

The question is: Can the teacher make a game-changing move right now? If yes, the instructional leader steps in like a coach calling audibles to turn the tide. It’s about real-time adjustments, ensuring every student learns.

3. After the Moment: Level III Reflecting and Refining

“After the Moment” feedback is the post-game analysis where the instructional leader and teacher reflect on the performance. Picture a locker room chat, breaking down the highlights and strategizing for the next game.

This phase involves acknowledging what went well, discussing the impact, challenging the teacher to reach new heights, analyzing student work, and determining the next steps to strengthen the alignment between curriculum, instruction and assessments. It’s crucial for reflection, learning, and planning for success in the upcoming lesson. Here, the groundwork laid in the previous levels comes into play – the collaborative planning informs the real-time adjustments, and the post-game reflections guide future instructional planning to reach every student every day.


By: Shawn Bender, Ed.SReal-Time Leadership Coach Program Lead & Associate

Check out CT3 Education programs such as No-Nonsense Nurturer, Real Time Teacher Coaching, and Real Time Leadership Coaching to find out more about Professional Development for Teachers and Leaders, classroom management strategies, and building relationships with students and their families.

Category: Education, Teaching, Tips for Teachers