The students might not excel in every subject while studying in the classroom. While teachers need to applaud their efforts, they must also be ready to give constructive criticism whenever required. When the criticism is made in the good spirit to improve the learning ability and outcomes, it is known as constructive criticism. While feedback can be positive or negative, constructive criticism only highlights the flaws or defects. Therefore, when we speak about constructive feedback in the classroom, it refers to the negative feedback shared with the students.
The teachers must learn to provide suggestions and feedback without sounding too harsh or rude. At the same time, they must help the students to understand, manage, and work on their flaws without getting too upset or angry. Here are a few ways through which teachers can provide constructive criticism to the students:
Compliment the Students
Sometimes, straightforwardly criticizing the students can affect their psyche. They might take it as an insult and not understand the crux of the master. Therefore, it is suggested that the teachers compliment the students before criticizing them. It will help the students receive the suggestions positively, but they will also not take the negative feedback to heart.
For example, a primary school teacher can complement a student about his handwriting before saying that he should improve his spelling. Similarly, secondary teachers must highlight the positives of the students before making them alert to their flaws. A student might be a good listener or might have a good memory. Each student possesses some special qualities that need to be encouraged. It will not only make them feel better, but they will also not lose confidence when they are critiqued.
Don’t Criticize Too Much at Once
Giving too much constructive feedback at once is not at all required. The students might feel dejected because of it, and the teachers will not be able to convey the feedback's specifics properly. It is recommended that the teachers be specific while giving constructive feedback. It will help the students remember their flaws, but they might also feel the need to address them immediately.
Ask Questions Instead of Pointing at their Flaws
Asking questions can be a better idea than giving plain suggestions. It can help the students to find their flaws on their own. For example, some students might not be able to comprehend things clearly in a classroom setting. To make the students understand their flaws, the teachers can ask some questions after every chapter or section.
The students can be asked to write down the answers to these questions. Those who fail to answer the questions will automatically realize their shortcomings and might pay more attention during the lectures. After asking the questions, the teachers can check each student's answers and provide constructive criticism or suggestions that can help them in the future.
Similarly, the teachers can try to turn negative comments into constructive criticism by asking relatable questions. For example, if a student fails to answer a question correctly, the teacher can ask whether they have listened to the question properly or whether they have some other thoughts on the specific topic. It would be much better to frame such constructive criticism instead of criticizing the students outright.
Avoid Making Personal Comments
The teachers must avoid personal comments while giving constructive feedback to the students. Personal remarks can affect the students' mental health and may also hold grudges against such teachers. Holding grudges is not a good thing for the students as it can hamper the process of personality development.
For instance, talking about someone's family, background, body, speaking manner, clothes, etc., is personal. The teachers must show empathy towards the students while conveying their flaws. Also, the teachers must ask the students not to take their comments personally as it is given to improve their learning ability.
Give Examples of Successful People
Many artists, writers, poets, businessmen, and other famous people often get criticized for some of their works. The teachers can give examples of such people who take criticism positively and make efforts to improve themselves and their skills. If the students are able to relate their shortcomings with the failures of famous people, it instills a sense of confidence in them. They can take constructive feedback in stride, making them grow as a person. The teachers must inspire the students to set difficult goals and motivate them to achieve something great in their lives. For that, they can narrate success stories in which the people were able to work on constructive criticism positively and achieve their goals.
The students are bound to make errors and silly mistakes. The teachers must not get angry at them for their silly mistakes as it can hurt their ego. Explaining why constructive feedback is provided can make the students understand their importance. Also, while criticizing the students is essential for their growth, it can damage their perception and creativity. The students should be encouraged to take constructive feedback positively. However, the teachers must also ask them not to take criticism too seriously.
Inspiring the students to overcome their flaws or defects and convert them into positive things can also help. For example, if a student cannot speak coherently due to speech issues like stammering, the teachers can support them in many ways. Encouraging such students to express themselves through writings, essays, and stories can motivate them to turn their flaws into strengths. The teachers must make the students understand that no one is perfect. While it is necessary to fine-tune the defects, the students must also be allowed to polish their skills.