No one enjoys hearing criticism. Nor do we enjoy our mistakes being made glaringly obvious. When you hear feedback that differs from your expectations, it can get uncomfortable. It can be blush-inducing and nerve-wracking especially when you question your teacher's comments.  

Throughout high school, us students will receive page after page of feedback, rubric tables and numbers penned in red. We would typically fixate on the red numbers written on the top of our sacs. 

For subjects that require long-response style answers such as English, Psychology, Legal Studies and History, your teacher's feedback is crucial. 

Whenever you receive a sac mark and teacher's comments, you should focus on the comments! If it was for English, ask yourself these two questions after reading your teacher's feedback. 

 Which aspects of my text-response could have been written better? 

What were the strengths of my response? 

(That's the time you give yourself a hi-five. You gotta be your own hype team.) 

What were elements of my writing did Mr/Mrs enjoy? 

Within your teacher's feedback lies their suggestions for further improvement. Never underestimate it! 

There will be times when your teacher's feedback leaves you mystified. Or you are uncertain on how to best implement their feedback. That's when you knock on their staffroom door and discuss what they meant in the written comments. More often than not, a 10-minute chat will allow your teacher to further understand your thought process, strengths and weaknesses in the subject! 

Do we have time for a short story? Hm. 

Okay, I'll keep it short! ;) 

In Year 11 English, there was a unit known as context study. Essentially, we could write in any format that we fancied. It involved tailoring themes from the selected text and interweaving them with our personal experiences. It's great fun.

Pity, the new English study design has removed it. VCE Study Guides's head tutor, Lisa will tell you all about it!

Anyway, my first context piece got an A+. Feeling somewhat keyed up, I (foolishly) amped up the vocabulary in my second context sac. 

I got a B+. Naturally, I was disappointed with the mark. I was even more upset with my teacher's comment. She wrote 'it was good but at times, it read like purpose prose.' 

Looking back, I remember feeling angry. (I KNOW, totally and utterly childish. Sigh. :') 

Shortly after I went to talk to my teacher about it, I was beginning to understand what she meant. My piece did read like an exaggerated mess full of unneeded adjectives. It was ridiculous

Till this day, I cannot bear to read it. 

However, once I heeded my teacher's wise advice, my context sac marks in year 12 benefitted! 

In essence, there is nothing like a healthy dose of reality and honesty. In fact, those two things motivate and challenge us! So, let it. 

- Amanda

P.S Now let us both have fun during this winter break!! ;)