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Talking About Things is Hard || Feedback Strategies

But I'm giving it my best shot...

When my sister and I were growing up, we couldn't give up. This is not to say that we weren't allowed to give up when we struggled to learn new concepts or acquire new skills. Instead, my parents, somehow, managed to instill in my sister and me from a very early age that the idea that we couldn't do something simply because it was difficult didn't make any sense. Such thoughts and vocalizations were not forbidden, or even, really, discouraged. They were simply wrong. To this day, I'm still not sure how they managed to get that concept into the heads of five-year-olds and make them believe it (it sounds a little too much like the generic "you can do anything you put your mind to" statement that many parents make for my taste), but they did and I am grateful for it. In a way, I guess this is pretty similar to the "growth mindset" that we've talked about in this class before, and that is further discussed in Preschoolers and Praise: What Kinds of Messages Help Kids Grow? My sister and I were fortunate enough to grow up with that kind of heavy encouragement of a growth mindset, even if we didn't really have a term for it at the time. Like the article suggests, I do believe that "yet" should be the operative and automatic word that everyone uses when they struggle with a task. Cataclysmic all-or-nothing statements are really just detrimental for all parties involved and generic praise or lackluster feedback can almost undermine an accomplishment. That being said, feedback of any kind, even with the best of intentions, can be detrimental at times, as discussed in
How to Provide Great Feedback When You’re Not In Charge. Knowing what kinds of feedback to give, in what order, and at what times is an important skill that I feel that I could work on. I know for a fact that a lot of the feedback that I tend to give tends to be on the more generic side, and this is not for a lack of trying. Sometimes, I really just can't think of anything to say. I genuinely want to provide helpful feedback to people, but when it comes to identifying specific things I like about someone's work or specific issues that I have with it, I sometimes struggle. In truth, when I read someone else's work, I usually don't take issue with things like grammar or sentence structure, word choice or even content. Things either just feel right or wrong. Most of the time in ways that I simply can't verbalize. Maybe with some time and practice, I'll improve my ability to provide constructive feedback for the sake of my fellow classmates. 
Verbalize It!

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