Practice, Practice, Practice


How to define goals and implement deliberate practice in order to grow professionally – based on the ideas in chapter 7 of Grit by Angela Duckworth.

“Each of the basic requirements of deliberate practice is unremarkable:

• A clearly defined stretch goal

• Full concentration and effort

• Immediate and informative feedback

• Repetition with reflection and refinement”

~ Create a goal for professional growth – identify a weakness ~

“…experts strive to improve specific weaknesses. They intentionally seek out challenges they can’t yet meet.”

“Even the most complex and creative of human abilities can be broken down into its component skills, each of which can be practiced, practiced, practiced.”

~ Target efforts toward growth goal ~

“…with undivided attention and great effort, experts strive to reach their stretch goal.”

“…experts practice differently. Unlike most of us, experts are logging thousands upon thousands of hours of what Ericsson calls deliberate practice.”

~ Seek out and utilize feedback ~

“As soon as possible, experts hungrily seek feedback on how they did. Necessarily, much of that feedback is negative. This means that experts are more interested in what they did wrong—so they can fix it—than what they did right. The active processing of this feedback is as essential as its immediacy.”

~ Repeat, Reflect, Refine ~

“And after feedback, then what? Then experts do it all over again, and again, and again. Until they have finally mastered what they set out to do. Until what was a struggle before is now fluent and flawless. Until conscious incompetence becomes unconscious competence.”


Direct their Next Steps


“Feedback, whether it be written or verbal, must direct the next step for students. In Wiliam’s words, it should be a “recipe for future action” and provide direction for where students need to go next. Comments should be prioritized into smaller, doable next steps with time provided for students to apply the feedback they have been given. Oftentimes, less feedback can have a greater impact.” – Feedback: A Recipe for Future Action, Teresa Rogers, Kentucky Teacher 2017

The quality of the feedback you give should direct kids to the next steps. This jumped out at me this week as I read the first and second articles in this series by Rogers. I immediately thought of the most recent feedback I had given students in my high school’s creative writing class. I’m certain my feedback lacked the information they needed to make those next steps. Before I read those next set of creative writing pieces, I need to really consider how to give quality feedback that they can act upon. I need to give DESCRIPTIVE feedback.

“Descriptive feedback is intended to be constructive and is composed of both ‘achievement feedback’ and ‘improvement feedback.'” – Rogers

Descriptive Feedback Helps All Students Reach Proficiency from EL Education on Vimeo.