Welcome to my ah ha moment. I’ve just figured out why my gallery walks haven’t always been so successful; the ones that have worked have been spontaneous, springing from a genuine need for feedback. The ones that haven’t have been neatly scheduled moments in my program. We will do this and then get some feedback. Now, where’s that tidy bow…? Today was one of the more successful moments.
Johnny’s previous lesson had ended with a student telling him he’d left his finished work on the desk. He hadn’t. Finished, that is. The work was a hurried scrawl with all the appropriate content, but certainly not a piece of refined art ready to be displayed. And that’s the awkward moment right, how do you tell a student they’re far from done?
We debriefed and Johnny agreed to let me have a shot (Sooo lucky we’re able to tag team teach like this!) I popped over for a 10min tutorial and sought feedback on my project. They’re still in the early days of gallery walks, so I showed them my three drafts and gave a verbal artistic statement, what I liked and what I was struggling with. Then invited them to help me. Whilst they hesitated at first, they ended up giving me some fantastic ideas that will really improve my work. From there we placed their work around the room and moved around giving as much kind, helpful and specific feedback as we could. The beauty of this is the students who had done a rushed job don’t need to be told, looking around they knew their work isn’t up to scratch.
On reflection they said they really appreciated the process. Some commented that writing the feedback made them feel they were less likely to offend their peers. My feedback came with some diagrams to help me understand their meaning, a touch that really added to the quality and was quite thoughtful.
So my personal lesson? PBL procedures are not a checklist. No one is giving me bonus points for being a good girl and scheduling them in. They’re just tools to use to help us in our journey.