A campus leader asks the following:




We need your input. When providing written feedback to teachers after a quick, formative observation should we only put positives? Or, do you think it is appropriate to give constructive feedback regarding improvement as well?

SC Response

First, don’t think that some form of archivable feedback needs to be provided after every short classroom observation. A single, short classroom observation is a random wisp of time. You need a decent sample size (at least 15) of short observations before you can begin to separate typical practices from anomalies.

Second, ANYTHING other than a positive note derived from a short, formative classroom observation requires an eyeball-to-eyeball conversation between the observer and the teacher.

If something is important enough to write down, then it must be really important. And good leaders recognize that anything really important is best conveyed face-to-face.


Bottom Line: Conveying negative feedback, constructive criticisms and /or even innocent questions by note, memo or email is not an example of leadership efficiency. It is an example of leadership cowardice.


Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

  • Upcoming Conference Presentations: TASSP Assistant Principal Conference; ASCD Empower Conference; TASSP Summer Conference (Keynote)
  • Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.