Monday, September 28, 2015

My verbal feedback stamp

I sometimes use a verbal feedback stamp. According to @TeacherToolkit it's madness and it makes me a laughing stock. I'm sure I've been called worse, but it does bother me that an influential blogger - and senior leader - is stating his opinion in a way that could put a dent in some teachers' morale. And assumptions are being made about how and why it is used. Consider this, some teachers may use the verbal feedback for themselves. Not OfSTED, not the SLT (but possibly for parents). Regarding the latter, my son struggled with writing and when he was in year 6 the one really good (imo) piece of work was unmarked. If there had been a verbal feedback stamp then I wouldn't have questioned the lack of written comments. 

I'm well aware of OfSTED's marking guidance and wouldn't dream of spending time writing down what was said during the feedback, but in a couple of seconds the stamp shows that feedback has been given. It's something I strive to do - guide the children whilst they are working, to support their progress. I am fully aware that a stamp itself adds no value to learning, but the feedback does! 

For myself, I use the stamp sporadically, but it is for my benefit and certainly not proof that I am stamping for evidence trails (another assumption). I ask my children to leave their books open for marking, in a pile. If I've put the verbal feedback stamp on any, it acts as a reminder that I don't need to mark it again. That saves me time, which can only be a good thing right?! 

Today I used it in the middle of a maths lesson. When I looked at the subsequent work I could see that my verbal feedback had a positive impact.   How's that for self assessment of my teaching? So forgive me, but I'll keep my stamp, thank you - and make a mental note that when I have strong opinions about something I will avoid using words/phrases intended to ridicule fellow professionals.


  1. Good post, I agree with you, in lots of ways too.

  2. Good post, I agree with you, in lots of ways too.

  3. I don't have a stamp, but do write 'VF' in a circle regularly when marking. It is useful for both learners and teachers.


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