Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How well do you take feedback?

Most recently, I led our 'new to district' staff members in a day-long orientation.

The goals of the day were to talk about district vision, the beliefs we hold in regard to student learning, and lastly to have some conversation about a few topics the district will be discussing and exploring over the course of the upcoming school year.

We had a group of 27 educators and many of them were first year teachers who've never officially taught before. We had elementary teachers, secondary teachers, SPED teachers and counselors, so our group was pretty diverse.

This was the first time many of these folks have been on district grounds in an 'official' work capacity, so from the district perspective, we wanted the day to be great!

We had donuts and coffee for breakfast and a great lunch from Pasta House.

We had a jammed packed day full of discussion and group learning.

What could possibly go wrong!

I decided to send out a survey to get some feedback and input from the group in an effort to make improvements or changes for subsequent years.

The survey was a Google Form so as soon as I sent the email I pulled up the responses document to watch the feedback roll in.

The first person submitted their feedback and here is what they had to say in the 'other thoughts and comments' section:

"It was very monotonous and boring. 
Sorry! I understand the concept of trying to show new hires what the district is all about but most of the slides and lectures were things I've heard before, redundant, or condescending."


That hurt a little bit...

So, maybe I was monotonous and maybe the day was boring.

Maybe I talked too much and maybe the information I was sharing wasn't really as new or as different as I thought...

Maybe I was wrong in thinking it was a well-planned day that was executed effectively.

Either way, I will take this feedback and reflect on what I did to make improvements. I hold no ill-feelings about this comment and look forward to doing a better job next year.

Remember, when you ask for feedback and input you have to be strong enough to handle what is shared... both the good and especially the bad.

I thank this individual for this comment and look forward to changing their opinion of me as the year progresses.

For the record, the survey was anonymous, so I have no idea who this individual is as it could be any one of the 27 individuals who participated in the orientation.

So, how well do you take feedback...?