“Honesty is vulnerability. Sadly, not everyone can handle someone’s honesty. However, lying allows people to be comfortable.” – Shannon L. Alder
I almost feel like an instructional coach must be a constant cheerleader and should always be optimistic. The coaches I work with are so enthusiastic and positive, I can’t even imagine them feeling bad about a failed lesson, disappointing scores on an assessment, or a negative evaluation.
Instructional coaching has helped me be more of a forward-thinker, a risk-taker, and a growth-mindset believer. I have become more open to change and more willing to experiment as a teacher.
Yet…insecurity, fear, and doubt still stalk me in the shadows. Is it unprofessional to be human?
I know that people learn from mistakes. I know that we must move forward. I know that people like those who are cheerful and optimistic. However uplifting Twitter can be, the happy inspirational photographs of flowers with encouraging words cannot take away the sting of criticism and failure.
I will be vulnerable and say that negative feedback hurts me.
I try so hard to do a good job on organizing professional developments, working with my students, and reaching out to teachers and others. I know that negative comments can provide me with important information on areas to improve, and eventually they do become helpful. In fact, much of my coaching life has been dictated by a careless remark about me that I have been trying to prove wrong ever since.
But I ruminate on the comment incessantly, and the pain is fresh every time I think of it again. Coaches are not superheroes. We do our best to help and our hearts are in the right place. We make mistakes; everyone does. But feedback is much more palatable if it is given in a respectful way. However, I suppose I must accept that not everyone has the skills or discipline to provide feedback in a kind way, so I will need to accept the following:
Perhaps that is the answer?