An attribute that outstanding teachers possess is that they provide frequent and immediate feedback to their students. This is true about classroom teachers, academic coaches and tutors. Students that receive frequent and immediate feedback tend to progress through a course at a faster pace then those that do not receive feedback in a timely fashion.
All class work and assessments need to be graded. Teachers can determine individual weaknesses and class weaknesses by studying the graded class work and assessments. As a teacher, I would keep track of frequently missed problems. I used that information to make the necessary adjustments to my lessons. I began most lessons by discussing the problems that were missed the most. If time permitted I also tried to answer individual questions. There were times that I provided different ways of teaching some concepts. Sometimes I would provide alternative solutions to assigned problems. Both provided reinforcement for my students.
Students were motivated by the feedback that I provided. The feedback that I gave demonstrated that I wanted to help each of the students. Students that believe that their teachers care about them are more likely to become active participants in the learning process. Providing feedback is part of the success plan that I helped develop for each student. Using graded class work and assessments also helped me determine which students needed individualized instruction.
I also provided frequent and immediate feedback to members of my mathematics teams. Sometimes the feedback was provided during practice sessions. In other occasions, I provided feedback after my students participated at a mathematics tournament (Number Sense, Calculator Applications and Mathematics). Although students were taught to self-analyze, I assisted them in determining what adjustments they needed to make to improve their performances. Some students were told what materials to study, while others were told what additional practice they should do and some were told both.
Parents also need to be providing feedback. They are an integral part of the learning process. Having parents review their child’s class work and assessments is a good way to communicate their child’s progress in the course. Phone calls or notes provided for parents were two other ways to provide them with feedback. Teachers need to use parents to assist in helping students succeed.