Calm down, dearie
A teacher comes to see me today, incensed. Not fragrantly. The comments I have written in their Performance Development Review do not chime with them. They have responded on the form in an indignant manner. Well…better said would be that they have reacted on the form. Because they are not responding to anything that I have said. Only what they have chosen to interpret from what I have said. Oh dear.
Commenting upon this with a colleague, we observe that people tend to blur the boundaries between a critical appraisal of a job done and a criticism of the person doing it. Does it need to be that way? Do we always need to think in terms of fault rather than responsibility? Do observations always have to be interpreted as criticisms. I might say that such and such a person has not been able to contribute very much to the team. This is a statement of fact – should it be read as the scribblings of one who is utterly oblivious to the reasons why such-and-such is unable to contribute?
I don’t think so. Criticism is not the same as critical appraisal – at least, I don’t think it is. Am I playing with semantics? Is this why my teachers are playing with semtext?