Taking feedback isn’t the same as “using” feedback, writes Doug Lemov in Practice Perfect.
For years, he “struggled” to throw dirty laundry in the laundry basket. His wife would complain. He’d promise to do better, repeating her feedback. “So it bothers you that my clothes are only near the basket.” Nothing changed.
His wife was too busy to read about practicing using feedback, not just taking it, Lemov told the audience at a workshop.
. . . she should hand me a pile of my stuff and say, “Let me see you get it into that basket right now.” And then: “Good, I will expect that everyday.”
Then, it all came crashing down. He got an e-mail from his wife:
First, I love you very much. And I appreciate all you do to try to make my life easier – emptying the dishwasher this am was incredibly helpful! (techniques 43 and 44) Second, I’d like you to try again at the end of the day to nail the laundry in the basket thing we’ve been working on. I’m giving you the opportunity to show me how much you’ve improved!
POW! Technique 39.
If this doesn’t work, all those people who come to see you are just wasting their time.
She’d read the book.
“Pretty much every teacher I’ve ever met (or gone out with) has tried to use classroom tricks –the eerily calm ‘teacher voice’ and the incessant praise — to get their way,” writes Alexander Russo.