Creating Consistency Across Admin Feedback: How to Calibrate and Improve Instructional Support

Creating Consistency Across Administrator Feedback
Creating Consistency Across Administrator Feedback

Feedback is the cornerstone of effective instruction and a thriving school culture. When executed consistently, rubric-based feedback fosters teacher clarity, satisfaction, and personal growth among educators. Yet, it’s alarming to note that a significant number of teachers, as studies indicate, contemplate leaving or do leave their profession due to inconsistent or ineffective support.

To combat this and to ensure that your educators receive consistent, constructive feedback, it’s paramount that administrators calibrate and improve the feedback and support they provide. This involves synchronizing their observational and feedback techniques, most notably through the practice of calibration walks.

The Imperative of Calibration and Improvement in Feedback

For us educators, it’s all too easy to veer off course. Without consistency, we risk losing sight of our priorities, best practices, and the unique needs of our classrooms.

The Imperative of Calibration and Improvement in Feedback

This is why we firmly believe that consistency serves as the bridge between chaos and harmony. Here’s why:

  • Teacher Morale and Retention: With consistent feedback, teachers are reassured of clear expectations, leading to better job satisfaction and lower attrition rates.
  • Professional Growth: Uniform feedback helps educators understand their strengths and areas of improvement, aiding in their professional growth journey.
  • Building Trust: Inconsistency can erode trust. When feedback is consistent and transparent, it builds trust between the administration and faculty.
  • Enhanced Student Outcomes: At the end of the day, consistent teacher feedback indirectly benefits students by promoting improved instructional practices.

The Calibration Walk: A Step-by-Step Guide

A calibration walk is akin to administrators setting their observational compasses in the same direction. During these walks, the focus isn’t just on the teacher’s instructional methods but also on the subsequent student engagement and learning outcomes.

Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  1. Preparation: Prior to the walk, it’s crucial for the administrators to familiarize themselves with the instructional framework. This ensures everyone is on the same page regarding what to look for, ensuring observations are aligned with a shared instructional language and vision.
  2. Lesson Observation: Here, the administrators immerse themselves in the ongoing lesson, capturing classroom observations. We recommend utilizing low-inference note-taking to ensure administrators are capturing the observable and measurable instead of inserting opinions or judgments. This helps to reduce the potential for bias and interpretation and helps create consistency across feedback.
  3. Collaborative Discussion: Post-lesson, it’s time for a collaborative debrief. Here, administrators pool their observations, sifting through them to identify common patterns and discrepancies, and finally align on the most high-leverage action step or area of improvement for the teacher.
  4. Feedback Delivery: The final step is to consolidate this feedback, presenting it in a clear, constructive manner. The aim? To make feedback a tool of empowerment, not intimidation.

How Superintendent Kayleigh Colombero Approaches Calibration Walks

Kayleigh Colombero
Founder & Superintendent, Etoile Academy Charter School

Kayleigh Colombero’s Initiative at Etoile Academy: At Etoile Academy, Founder & Superintendent Kayleigh Colombero and her administrative team co-observe two lessons per month. After briefly observing the lesson, they discuss what they observed and what they believe to be the highest leverage action step/ area of improvement.

After aligning on feedback, they’ll designate one admin to capture that feedback into a Bullseye session to send to that teacher so as to avoid multiple sessions/ any confusion.

How Bullseye Enhances the Feedback Loop

With the myriad challenges faced by school administrators, ensuring feedback consistency shouldn’t be one. This is where Bullseye steps in:

  • Streamlined Classroom Observations: No more cumbersome note-taking. Capture in-the-moment observations seamlessly.
  • Rubric-Based Feedback: Ensure consistency across admin feedback by capturing notes in context to your school’s instructional framework. Bullseye helps to promote a shared instructional language by placing your school’s instructional rubric at the forefront while capturing classroom observations.
  • Centralized Feedback Repository: All feedback, from multiple administrators, is consolidated, ensuring no mixed messages.
  • Easily Accessible: With everything housed in one platform, reviewing feedback, tracking growth, or seeking clarifications becomes a breeze.
  • Teacher Engagement: Unlike traditional top-down feedback mechanisms, Bullseye promotes a collaborative feedback model. Teachers aren’t just passive recipients; they’re active participants in their growth journey.

In Conclusion

Consistent feedback isn’t just an administrative best practice; it’s an investment in the educational ecosystem of a school. As leaders in the K-12 domain, our mission should be to make feedback a tool of empowerment and growth. With Bullseye, you’re one step closer to that goal.

We’re always happy to help and provide input where we can. If you have questions about your instructional support system, we’d love to talk to you. Schedule a complimentary strategy session with a Bullseye expert!

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