Peer Feedback Groups
International School teaching assignments are rewarding and enabling, compared to teaching in our home countries, where budgets and bureaucracy can be restrictive. However, the International School environment can also impede professional development and innovation due to the difficulty we face in implementing systems to capture and share knowledge. Teachers and administrators spend relatively short periods of time at any one school, and this instability leads to a lack of trust and investment in relationships that can be a powerful force in enhancing student learning. Peer Feedback Groups is a program designed to build and sustain a culture of collaboration. Consultants work closely with senior leadership to assess the current level of collaboration within the school and identify obstacles that impede teams from working in a transformational collaborative state. A sample Change Management program is detailed below:
Introducing PDAcademia Peer Feedback Groups
PDAcademia’s Peer Feedback Groups program is aimed at helping schools to create peer feedback groups that will enable a culture of peer observations, collaboration and consultative communication. This program is based on the premise that:
- Peer observations and collaboration are the exception and not the norm;
- Leaders have a tendency of talking around feedback and not being ‘critical’; and
- Teachers have been trained to work as independent units.
PDAcademia’s Peer Feedback Groups facilitator will work with the school in advance of the workshop to help its administrators identify the problem that peer feedback groups will address, and introduce a process for getting buy-in and identify measures for evaluating the performance of the peer feedback groups. As the program progresses, we will continue to coach the groups and introduce new tools and protocols that will encourage observations and greater collaboration, in addition to helping groups capture knowledge that can benefit the entire school.
- Clearly communicate the mission and ensure stakeholder buy-in;
- Identify and remove operational barriers;
- Strategically align and connect recruitment, evaluation and professional development activities.
- Share beliefs about leadership and student learning;
- Build trust through a collaborative norming process;
- Define the roles and responsibilities essential to each group;
- Understand how to use and develop protocols;
- Hone collaborative communication skills;
- Learn how to give and receive feedback;
- Encourage observations and data-based feedback; and
- Establish a platform for sharing best practices.