Thursday, June 25, 2015

The power of feedback and feedforward...

As I journey, I am increasingly aware of the need to capture some feedback for my own inquiry.

As a team of facilitators we support each other, challenge each other, and are able to give specific feedback and feedforward to support our journeys.I live a mantra of: “if you learn, teach; if you get, give!” This has always shaped my way of being and I am happiest when I am learning, sharing, interacting, supporting and socialising. Yes, it comes as no surprise that I love socialising. I am extremely positive and just today, facebook shared a post with me that is worth celebrating… “NEVER apologise for enthusiasm”. Often I am challenged on my overuse of the word MAGIC and my rose tinted glasses. Sometimes, just sometimes, this really dents me. It makes me sad that I should repress what I am feeling, should change my language and my sharing, for the sake of others…. So, gladly, I repost this quote. I am unashamedly, unabashedly optimistic, enthusiastic, positive and extremely hopeful.

The Optimism RevolutionIncreasingly I am aware of the basic human need of recognition, affirmation, acknowledgement. I have worked with teachers over the past couple of weeks that make my heart sing, they give the most incredible feeling of joy, and hope for our learners. They have profoundly good teaching pedagogy, and they are pushing boundaries to ensure that their learners have agency, autonomy, access to learning challenges to address their experiences and challenge them. My role as a facilitator is first and foremost to hold a mirror to this practice, to allow the educators to share their stories and see the MAGIC in their journeys. Most especially, my role is to allow educators the time to talk… just talk. Sharing their story and having a willing listener is a rare privilege in our busy world. As I listen I am privileged to ask, provoke, dig deeper and empower the educator to reflect aloud on their journey. As we increasingly move to recording progress and journey, through the MAGIC of Storyhui, we can capture rare and precious insights. How do we use these as evidence? How do we unpack our story? How do we make sense of the changes within our learners; our programmes; and MOST importantly within ourselves? I see spirals of inquiry as the KEY. Inquiring, reflecting, gathering evidence, holding the mirror to our journey, our story. 
At times I work with educators who are challenged with circumstances beyond my belief, be it: temporary learning spaces, uncertain futures, facing mergers, unreliable or limited technology… Our Learning with Digital Technologies contract is rich with hope, opportunities and possibilities. Increasingly clustering for PLD is our reality. Opportunities for sharing, networking, collaborating and travelling a path together are plentiful. For years I have felt I am channeling Derek Wenmoth when I begin to talk of Ubiquity, Agency and Connectedness. Increasingly I see these as our mainstay in transformative practice. If our learning environments allow for ubiquitous access to our learning journey, anytime, anywhere, by our learners and community we have the potential to be transformative. If we have agency in our programmes, genuine agency, choice, based on our learners current reality, passions and needs, we have the potential to be transformative. If we have a learning environment that allows for connection with an authentic audience, colleagues, whanau, local and global communities, we have the potential to be transformative. Throw in a HUGE dollop of growth mindset and a whole lot of fun and MAGIC is possible. I guess it is unspoken that learner feedback and feedforward is a crucial component in any transformative environment. 
The feedback and feedforward I have received over the past week has shaped me and challenged me to go further… way further than I would without the power of someone holding a mirror to my practice. 
I acknowledge and celebrate all who take the time to give feedback. When you are up, feedback takes you higher, when you are struggling, feedback can help you find your wings, when you are down, feedback may well be the difference between you getting up or sinking. What is it that holds you back from giving feedback?  What is it that helps you give feedback?What is it that holds you back from giving feedback? 
What is it that helps you give feedback?

I know how wonderful I feel when I receive unexpected and surprising feedback. 
I know how wonderful I feel when I ask for feedback and critiquing of my facilitation.I know how wonderful I feel when I give feedback...                     

Imagine the difference we can make....

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