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The Gift of Feedback

We believe in feedback. In fact, we love feedback on almost everything. We send session surveys to each family, Acton network quarterly surveys, Learners give feedback to one another on their 360s at the end of each session, and even guides receive feedback from the Learners on Guide surveys . Listening to our families (parent and child) is essential to our continued improvement. The surveys give us the opportunity to hear from you about how we are doing in fulfilling our promises and how we might be falling short.

Giving and receiving feedback is like a muscle we need to train. We’ve all had a situation where a feedback conversation turns into a defensive one where one or both parties end up shutting down. Feedback conversations are hard, and yet, they’re often the most rewarding and important conversations we can have to help each other grow.

We’ve discussed giving and receiving feedback numerous times this past school year with our Learners. We’ve learned that in order for feedback to be effective, it must first be kind, it must be helpful, and it must be specific.

How do we give our own children feedback? Are we critical? Do we praise the product over the process? Do we give automatic, “Good jobs!" or "Great goings!" instead of being specific on what was so good or great? Fixed versus Growth Mindset Praise?

How do we receive it from others? Graciously or defensively? Would we rather not give or receive feedback? How can we get better if we can’t see where we need improvement?

Our Learners are creating their own culture, We’ve witnessed them receiving and giving feedback better than most adults, this past year. They are always kind, very thoughtful, and you can tell that they truly care about the person they are giving feedback to.

Transparency matters. That’s why surveys are collected anonymously and posted for everyone to see.  As such, our only request is that any comments about other Learners or parents and even guides be in a kind, helpful, and specific way – individual differences can be handled offline, one on one.

Here’s to another year of caring so much that we want others to keep growing!

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