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Learning from a bad teacher

I am currently working on a project with someone. Apologies for being cryptic, I can't give details due to contract. My job includes writing. To which I get feedback and then improve. I am an academic, this is the nature of a lot of my life. This is what I do with my students.

But it is almost 1am, why am I thinking about this?

Because the feedback I have received is terrible.

I receive very little feedback to start with. And then what I do get tells me all that I have done wrong.

Actually no, firstly, it mostly tells me that 'I have not read the instructions' (Reader, I have. A LOT OF TIMES. I do not lack the ability to decode texts. Yet, I keep being told to read it again).

And then I am told what I have done wrong. But I am not told how to make it right. Because the instructions do not lay out a model of ways forward.

So I try something, and I am punished for it.

It is frustrating. Heartbreaking. Demoralising.

And it reminds me of what NOT to do when I teach.

I will find this as a positive in what has become one of the most frustrating projects I have participated in. I will use it to look closely at the teacher I do not want to be:

One who gives no uplifting feedback

One who notes only the flaws and failings

One who notes errors, but gives no models

One who is satisfied by undermining others

One who refuses to admit fault or error

I will come out of this with a promise for my Thinkers:

I will highlight what you did well

I will notice the effort you put in

I will model what I am looking for

I will acknowledge your curiosity and creativity

I will be humble and see learning as something we do together

If there is something in the instructions you fail to grasp - I will alter the instructions, not simply point to the same page.

I will aim to create a joyful process. In joy we all learn (and write!) better!!


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