“Bad dog!”

bad dog

It seems to me that it was yesterday that I was  nervously preparing to the presentation of my methodology lesson at university. After my speech was finished my teacher gave me verbal feedback. And it was done in front of the whole class! It is unnecessary to say that it was not “perfect”. I still remember that feedback because it was negative, disappointing and did not give me the answer to the question “What exactly was wrong and what to do to make it perfect?” Most of my lessons were blow sky-high, of course I understand that not all of them were perfectly planned and my teacher wanted to improve my presentation skills, but should she criticize my work in front of entire group, regardless all my effort?                                                                         

         It is the sad fact but, most of the students face with the same situation on the lessons, because, a lot of teachers think that feedback must be negative and let student work hard. So, students lose their motivation because they know beforehand what kind of feedback they will get. To avoid this, feedback should be positive or at least neutral and give explanation of the give mark.

What is it feedback?

              Feedback it is response that teacher gives on the students` work. It can be written or verbal. The main purpose of the feedback is to let student know “where are they”, explain what to do next and in what direction to follow in order to achieve a goal.  Feedback that helps student to “understand and internalize the information” (para 1) is called constructive. As a  teacher, it is necessary to remember that feedback you   provide your students must be useful, meaningful and easy to understand; by no means critical, accusatory and vague.

How to provide feedback?

  • feedback can be given in a written form or verbally
  • giving feedback teacher should use individual approach to every student and direct a  student for achievements
  • feedback should be given personally; not in front of the whole class
  • feedback should be provided timely
  • student should be given  an example
  • teachers also should be open  to receiving  feedback from students

Feedback is essential to student`s skills development. Provide your students with feedback and don’t leave them with the question “Why am I bad dog?”



Constructive feedback. Retrieved from:  http://www.hr.gov.nt.ca/sites/default/files/constructive_feedback_summary_feb_17_2014_-_final1.pdf


2 thoughts on ““Bad dog!”

  1. Dear Dariga, since we had the same teacher of methodology at university, I am a person who can understand you better than others. My group mates and I had a really tough time preparing for presentations of the lessons, developing plans and handouts. But what united us all was uncertainty and fear. We did not have any guidance or support, except for really “motivating” and “inspiring” feedback in the form of critique. We were afraid of asking any questions because it was considered as ignorance and our own laziness that we could not find the right answer ourselves. Well, I would say, though, that fear really worked in our case as we could spend nights reading literature without a particular understanding of what is right and what is wrong with our lessons. We were so frightened and nervous, but we could eventually gain the comment from our teacher: “It is surprisingly OK!”) OMG, it was a real victory with ovations and hugs)). Even though I learned what a good lesson is through my own experience, I just lost the interest in a teaching profession. I even think that I got some psychological problems with my nerves and confidence through that painful lonely experience. I absolutely agree with you that a feedback should be given in a right way, without leaving a student in frustration or uncertainty. Unfortunately, many teachers at school and even universities think that “the hard way is the best way” of making a student understand his/her mistakes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Dariga, your post made me remember the same situation resembling “public execution” happenned to me. Not once. Unfortunately, it is going to take much time before teachers in Kazakhstan stop criticizing and start giving feedback instead. To me, the key question is “Why teachers use the rough and discouraging comments in front of the class?”.

    First, I think it often happens due to the lack of competence. Surely, it is quite difficult to provide students with constructive feedback if no one ever taught you to do that. I strongly feel that there must be a course involving workshops of guiding students to improve their work instead of pointing the finger at them and saying “Bad dog”.

    Then, I assume that some teachers fail at giving feedback because they feel that it is more efficient to embarass a student in front of class so that he/she would never make the same mistakes again. Moreover, teachers often justify the public comments by saying that they want to warn the rest of the class not to repeat the flubs of their classmate.

    Finally, teachers could be simply tired of facing the same mistake every day/lesson/semester/and even year. However, this only brings us back to teacher’s lack of competence and inability to work on his/her own mistakes. If your students keep making the same mistakes, there might be something wrong with the feedback you give.


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