Thursday, February 22, 2018


In Handle Criticism Effectively from Cool Cat Teacher Blog by, Victoria A Davis, Cool Cat Teacher states,

“You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle criticism. Those who immediately dismiss criticism neglect the fact that most criticism, even that from an enemy, carries with it a grain of truth or no one would believe it.”

I think this is the hardest thing for most people to handle.

Let’s face it, criticism hurts. Whether it comes from family, friends, co-workers, or supervisors, it hurts. Whether it is nicely said or meanly said, it hurts.

Sometimes I feel the criticism is justified, and even true but sometimes I feel it is done out of meanness or even revenge. The trick is to get over the hurt feelings and try to decide if there is some trueness in it and what I can learn from this information.

But I feel that in order to learn and to grow, criticism is necessary.

But when I am the person being judged, I tend to react in different ways. When it is my family, I tend to get angry and defensive. When it is friends, I tend to withdraw into myself. When it is a person of authority over me, I tend to feel bad and beat myself up over something I did or didn’t do.

Yet, when I began teaching, I wanted someone to criticize me. I knew I wasn’t doing the best I could. But everyone I met kept telling me what a great job I was doing because I was working in special education. When I first started teaching, special education was still a new field and not a lot of people knew enough about it, even administrators. So, I felt like everyone was “patting me on the head” and hoping I would just keep my kids out of the office for bad behavior. It was a frustrating time for me.

When I am working with my students or other people who are learning something, I try to phrase it differently so that it doesn’t come across as much as criticism as much as a suggestion for a better way. I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings but sometimes it is necessary.

When I am observing a teacher in a teaching situation, I try to see something that didn’t go well and come up with a suggestion that might help. I don’t just want to say a negative without giving a positive.

When I am helping a student, I try to avoid helping them too much because they need to learn from their mistakes. When they do make a mistake, I try to help them find a better way they could have solved the problem.

How do you handle criticism and how do you dish it out? Please share.

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