Why Teachers Should Seek Feedback (Whether They Want To Or Not)

I have evolved as a educator since my beginnings as a teacher back in 2001. I have evolved as a leader since my beginnings as an AP six years ago. I have evolved even more since becoming a principal 4 years ago. With time, and with feedback, change should happen as long as said feedback is used. However, one must be willing to change in order for change to occur.

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Oprah Winfrey

I have acknowledged publicly when I’ve done wrong the past four years. I’m nowhere close to being perfect and I can live with it because I strive to improve daily through self-reflection and feedback.

I have sought out feedback in order to improve professionally and personally during my time as a building leader. I know I have a lot to learn and I can live with it because I want to improve and will with your continued input.

I have sought feedback to make what we do and how we do it better during the last four years. I know we have room for improvement as a system and I can live with it because I want us to continue to improve so we can provide the best learning environment and education for our students and community.

I will continue to seek this type of feedback from staff and other stakeholders as it has helped me improve and I believe our school has improved too.

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Aristotle

However, there are times I don’t want to seek feedback because I know when something didn’t go well or I hear through word of mouth when people are upset about something said, done, or due to changes. Regardless, I know feedback is vital for improvement and growth and I continue to seek it through good times and bad.

I have found the biggest challenge is not taking the feedback personally. When it is anonymous there are a select few that don’t hold back and it can be brutally honest. I get it and understand it.  I can live with it because I want to improve and will use it to do so.

“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

I have been receiving constructive feedback since becoming a sports writer back in 96 so this is nothing new for me. In my former career the feedback came via phone calls, letters, and even being yelled at by fans at a high school basketball game once because in that families eyes I was “playing favorites.” I get it and I can live with it because it helped me to reflect on my practice and improve my craft. In fact I improved to the point I eventually became an award-winning writer, editor, and photographer thanks to the feedback and input.

“If you think what you did yesterday was great, then you haven’t done much today.” – Lou Holtz

My goal has been, and will always be, to improve each and every day as a person and professional. I try my best to model as an instructional leader through my learning, collaborating, sharing, blogging, tweeting, reflecting, connecting, seeking feedback, and most of all just being the best me I can be.

I know I’m not the best building leader. I get it and can live with it because I will continue working to improve and evolve as a leader and person each and every day.

I have a long way to go because it is a daily challenge to improve and be better than I was the day before. I thank each of you for helping me evolve to who I am today.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” – Proverbs 12:15


  1. Ghulam Mustafa Babar

    September 20, 2012 at 10:08 am

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  2. Frances

    October 6, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Sometimes feedback is intelligent and useful, and sometimes it is biased and useless. As long as you are in a position to make that distinction, fine. You must be able to avoid orienting yourself to crowd pleasing however. Take the critidim for what it is worth, and if it is worthless, discard.