Feedback Comes In Time
feedback n: 2. The return of information about the result of a process or activity, an evaluative response.
When I ask a question of my high school students in our daily New Testament class I often get a blank look, silence or this question, “Can you repeat the question?”
This kind of feedback has rocked my confidence in my teaching more than once. Did I not explain? Did they not get it? Why are we not communicating? What could I have done differently?
I might react on the inside with these questions of my own, but on the outside, I try to react in patience, repeating what I just said or saying it in a new way. Needless to say, I get pretty excited when I see the glow of a light bulb in feedback on their faces.
Teaching, loving and nurturing my children is like teaching my class—only the time span is stretched out over years, not a class period or two. I cover the same material over and over, with each stage of their development, with little or no feedback. I continually ask, Did they get it? Why don’t they respond? What could I have done differently.
My oldest daughter confirmed in one simple phrase this week that she’s getting it—in class and at home. She acknowledged that she liked my teaching and said, “You try to help us understand it, not just get through it. You teach us why we need to know this.”
Yes, I teach the WHY! She recognized the goal of all my teaching—teach not only what and how, but why we do what we do.
In her statement and the bed-time chats with my other two children, I finally received what I’ve been seeking from years of teaching my children—FEEDBACK.
In our class, we’re looking for Christ-like attributes in our New Testament reading. I told the students about trying to develop PATIENCE. As usual, I wondered if I was talking to hear myself talk. Out of the blue, a senior boy in the class asked, “Did it work?”
I smiled to myself and answered, “Yes, yes it did.”