The Acorn

A Newsletter for CSB/SJU Cooperating Teachers

Volume 4, no. 2--Friday, September 17, 2021

Growing, Nurturing, and Supporting CSB/SJU Student Teachers

The Acorn is a newsletter for the cooperating teachers working with student teachers from the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. This publication is intended to help our cooperating teachers understand their roles and responsibilities as well as provide them with current research and best practice in working with student teachers. Additional information helpful to mentorship, pedagogy, and current issues in education is often included.

A Message from the Director of Student Teaching

From Feedback to Feedforward

We’ve all heard it—the screech of a monitor or loudspeaker when a microphone comes too close. That rumble or ringing grates on the eardrums and shifts our attention away from the message that is intended. It can shift the creative process and shut down our ability to effectively communicate. That kind of audio feedback can be likened to corrective evaluative feedback student teachers may receive during the observation or evaluation process.


Plenty of research has been done on the purposes and processes of feedback. We have been told to be mindful of our motives for our feedback, making sure to focus on the behavior, not the person (Teacher and Education Support Development Unit, 2010, p. 12). We also know that balancing our responsibilities as feedback givers in the roles of mentor and evaluator can be challenging as we both support and challenge our student teachers (Podsen & Denmark, 2000, p. 64). We need to find ways to make feedback relevant, respectful, and honor the intention of the message so it can be heard and implemented. We want our student teachers to grow in confidence and competence from the feedback efforts we make. Unfortunately, according to Columbia psychologist Kevin Oschner, people only apply 30 percent of the feedback given.


To create a balance and reframe how we engage in conversations about improvement (without judgment), Joe Hirsch suggests that we feedforward. In his book The Feedback Fix: Dump the Past, Embrace the Future and Lead the Way to Change (2017), Hirsch suggests that we need something “completely different: a system of feedback that helps people find their inner voice, discover their natural creativity, strengthen their significance, and stand on their own two feet” (p. 24). To do this, we flip the focus from the past to the future (Gonzalez, 2021). Consider trying out Hirsch’s six components to feedforward situated in the acronym REPAIR:

Regenerates

Expands

Particular

Authentic

Impact

Refines


The Feedforward framework (see infographic) allows messages to be better received and helps to shift the intent toward improvement and change.


References:

Gonzalez, J. (2018, January 18). Moving from feedback to feedforward [web log]. Retrieved

September 12, 2021, from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/feedforward/.

Hirsch, J. (2017). The Feedback fix: Dump the past, Embrace the future and lead the way to

change. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Podsen, I.J. & Denmark, V.M. (2000). Coaching and mentoring first-year and student

teachers. Larchmont: NY: Eye on Education, Inc.

Ruettimann, L., & Hirsch, J. (2018, December 17). The Feedback Fix with Joe Hirsch. Punk

Rock HR with Laurie Ruettimann. other, Youtube.

Teacher and Education Support Development Unit. (2010). A Learning guide for teacher

mentors (Rep.). East Melbourne, Victoria: State of Victoria Department of Education

and Early Childhood Development.

Hirsch's Feedforward Comparison

Big picture

Weeks 3 & 4 for Student Teachers

For Candidates in 12- or 16-week placements:

Week 3 with Students:

  • Work with the student teacher in lesson planning (reviewing plans daily) and management design.
  • Co-teach lessons throughout the day.
  • Conduct ONE FORMAL observations and provide actionable feedback.
  • Set goals for addressing improvement areas.
  • Elementary: Allow the student teacher to solo teach 30-40 minutes per day and lead morning meetings/classroom routines adding time as the student teacher is ready.


    Week 4 with Students:

    • Model teaching, learning, and assessment for the student teacher
    • Conduct informal observations and provide actionable feedback
    • Co-teach in classes/subjects the student teacher is not leading
    • Elementary: Allow the student teacher to fully teach in one subject, minimum


    For Candidates in 8-week placements:

    Week 3 with Students:

    • Work with the student teacher in planning, preparation of lessons and materials, monitoring student work.
    • Review the student teacher’s lesson plans
    • Co-teach in subjects/classes the student teacher isn’t leading
    • Conduct ONE FORMAL observation with actionable feedback
    • Elementary: Allow the student teacher to solo teach 30-40 minutes per day, adding more time as the student teacher is ready.
    • Secondary: Allow the student teacher to teach at least one section of a course, building to two sections by the end of the week


    Week 4 with Students:

    • Model teaching, learning, and assessment for the student teacher

    • Conduct informal observations and provide actionable feedback

    • Co-teach in classes/subjects the student teacher is not leading

    • Review the student teacher’s goals and performance, setting new goals for the remainder of the placement

    • Elementary: Allow the student teacher to teach building to half of the day

    • Secondary: Allow the student teacher to teach up to two classes less than a full-time load, if the student teacher is prepared to do so


    Quick Links

    CSB/SJU Student Teaching Handbook


    Student Teaching Observations (by Cooperating Teacher/University Supervisor/Director)

    This observation/evaluation form should be used to complete observations throughout the placement. Six formal observations of the student teacher are required within the span of student teaching. We ask that you complete 6 for a 16-week placement, 5 in a 12-week placement, 3 in an 8-week placement, and 2 in a 5-week placement. The entire form does not need to be completed for each observation; however, by the end of the placement, each part should be addressed.


    Additional Forms:

    Cooperating Teacher Information (if not completed in the past three years)

    Feedback (weeks 2, 6, 10, & 12)
    Cooperating Teacher's Final Evaluation of Student Teacher

    Cooperating Teacher's Dispositional Evaluation of Student Teacher

    Great Resources for Coaching Student Teachers

    CSB/SJU Education Department

    Jennifer L. Meagher, EdD.

    Director of Elementary and Secondary Student Teaching


    Allison Spenader, PhD.

    Chair