Feedback is when you get or give criticism or approbation. It can improve your awareness of your performance, and highlight things that could be fine-tuned in your style. If possible, especially if you are new to TEFL, I would strongly recommend getting a fellow teacher to sit in on your classes every now and then to give you feedback.
Having a protégé/mentor relationship with someone whom you trust can be of enormous benefit to you as a teacher. At first, it may seem daunting, but the advantages soon become obvious. As the article pointed out, when receiving feedback we should listen with an open mind, and not take it personally – reflecting, as it does, not on our personality, but our professional actions.
Giving feedback is partly what TEFL is about. The Melanie Allen article rightly said that we’ve all been in situations where feedback is necessary – from driving instructors, or golf teachers, people who have more knowledge than us on a certain subject. Teachers of English have a similar responsibility. Anyone can study English from a textbook or online resources, but teachers are there to give personal feedback.
Strengths and weaknesses
You have to teach the basics of English, and you also have to examine each individual learner for strengths and weaknesses. As a teacher, you are, or you should be, innately in a position of respect. Your students will listen to what you have to say, so offer your feedback in a constructive way.
Things to offer feedback on include:
- Use of certain words or idioms
- Attitude to learning
So speak up, and guide your students to a higher level of English ability.