Want to Observe Lessons & Give Feedback Effectively? Use Our Coach-Style Feedback System!

by Annie Boate

Want to Observe Lessons & Give Feedback Effectively? Use Our Coach-Style Feedback System!

In my previous article, I shared some of the shortcomings of many current lesson observation and feedback systems in schools. These included:

  • The lack of training for observers
  • The dread many observers feel when having to give ‘difficult feedback’
  • The negative impact of feedback on some staff being observed
  • The lack of a consistent, time-efficient system across the school or MAT
  • The lack of impact on the quality of teaching & learning across the school/MAT
  • The lack of useful, strategic information for SLT

Imagine conducting lesson observations using a system which is proven to make observations and feedback a far more valuable, positive and empowering experience for everyone involved – that’s the observer, and the person being observed. 

That’s exactly what Coachinginschools’s ‘coach-style’ OBSERVATION & FEEDBACK SYSTEM delivers.

Our ‘coach-style’ observation & feedback system is based on what we call ‘EMPOWERING ACCOUNTABILITY.’ That’s where staff are held to account for the quality of their performance in a way that empowers and motivates them to lead on their own improvements…and to keep improving.

Our ‘coach-style’ observation & feedback system motivates staff to take immediate action to refine and improve their practice. Seeing the positive impact of those immediate actions increases their motivation to take further action. It also increases staff confidence in their professional ability to take control of their performance and make continuous, incremental changes that lead to improved pupil progress over time.

Our system leaves staff feeling that the process has been ‘done with them’ rather than ‘done to them.’

That’s why so many staff using our system proactively ask their observers to re-visit them in the classroom; they can’t wait to show off the improvements they’ve made to their practice – and the impact it’s having on their pupils!

So how do we achieve all of the above?

We provide high-quality training for observers so that the whole school can adopt an observation and feedback system that works, is applied consistently and is understood by all.

Our training takes the sense of dread out of the process for all concerned, because:

  • Observers are trained in how to observe objectively and analytically, how to make notes based on evidence, and how to feed back to staff ’coach-style.’ 
  • Our training leaves observers feeling totally in control of the process – even if it involves giving ‘difficult’ messages
  • Their feedback leaves staff focusing on positive ways to improve their performance, rather than on any negatives.

All of our coach-style/coaching systems are designed specifically for schools, and for busy, time-strapped professionals. This means they are designed to provide maximum impact on school improvement in a time-efficient way. Our ‘coach-style’ feedback only takes around 3-7 minutes, and yet staff are left feeling confident and empowered, and can’t wait to take action! And they positively welcome being held to account for taking that action – because they’re intrinsically motivated, and fully committed.

What are the strategic benefits for SLT?

SLT will be confident that the school has in place:

  • A consistent, whole-school approach to lesson observations and feedback. This consistency is equally powerful across a group of schools
  • Proper training for staff responsible for observing and developing others
  • The systematic collection of objective evidence on the quality of teaching & learning across the school

SLT will be left with:

  • A very clear picture of the quality of teaching & learning across the school/MAT
  • Information on the development needs of individual teachers
  • Information on any team/whole-school training needs
  • Identified staff who can support the development of others in specific areas

And we know that improvements need to be ongoing if they’re to drive the school forward. So how can you use our system to secure continuous school improvement?

Find out in our final article in this series on observing lessons and feeding back effectively.

>> Click here to read it now!

Monica Austin

(Recently-retired Headteacher & Coachinginschools Accredited Trainer)