Empowering Students to Provide Peer Feedback | Starr Sackstein | 3 Min Read

How many times have you been burdened by a pile of papers in desperate need of your feedback or grading?

Of those times, how many have you found ways to cut corners on because there are just too many?

It’s okay to be honest with yourself about this, no one else is listening or judging.

You are only one person, how can you possibly give every child exactly what he/she needs at that moment, when they all need something different at the same time?

Unless we consider something else; another possible solution that can benefit everyone on multiple levels.

After all, why should teachers be the only valuable voices of feedback in a learning space?

Time for another unteaching moment

Until now, most students have been trained to do as they’re told, ask questions of the teacher as needed and make changes only when a teacher suggests they be made. 

Because, a teacher’s feedback is clearly the ONLY right feedback.


What if we can teach students to become adept at looking for the things we notice in their writing and then allow them to work…

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Starr Sackstein

Starr Sackstein started her teaching career at Far Rockaway High School in the early 2000s, eager to make a difference. Quickly learning to connect with students, she was able to recognize the most important part of teaching: building relationships. Fostering relationships with students and peers to encourage community growth and a deeper understanding of personal contribution through reflection, she has continued to elevate her students by putting them at the center of the learning. A National Board Certified teacher, Ms. Sackstein has written many books and articles, including: Teaching Students to Self-Assess: How Do I Help Students Grow as Learners?; Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School; Peer Feedback in the Classroom: Empower Students to be the Experts with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD); and Assessing with Respect: Everyday Practices that Meet Students’ Social and Emotional Needs (ASCD March 2021). Sackstein contributed to compilation works such as Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education). Ms. Sackstein blogged on Education Week Teacher at “Work in Progress,” where she discussed all aspects of being a teacher and education reform for five years ending in 2019. Most recently, Sackstein has been consulting full-time with the Core Collaborative, working with teams on assessment reform, and bringing student voice to the front of all classroom learning. Balancing a busy career of writing and educating with being Mom of high schooler Logan is a challenging adventure. Seeing the world through his eyes reminds her why education needs to change for every child. Rounding out her family is her husband Charlie who is a mindfulness and meditation coach, as well as a personal trainer which comes in handy for being conscious of self-care. Together they adventure around the world bringing harmony to each other’s lives. Starr can be reached at [email protected] or via Twitter at @MsSackstein. She can also be found at MsSackstein.com.