The importance of not being nice

hazardous areaThe trouble with being too nice when commenting on something is that sometimes the underlying message just doesn’t get through. This applies whether you’re looking at students’ work, observing trainee teachers or evaluating a school’s ICT provision.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not advocating going in guns blazing, being really negative or thoroughly obnoxious. But if you don’t point out the shortcomings in whatever it is you’re looking at – or, at least, ask the sort of questions that will lead them to realise them for themselves – then really you’re not being nice, you’re being dishonest.

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