As a teacher, I spend about 35% of my class time reviewing rather than teaching new content. Does that seem surprising to you? It shouldn’t. Consistent review helps us solidify understanding and connect what we’ve learned in the past with new information. As a result, feedback should regularly include the fundamentals of judging, which are important for judges of any level.
REVIEWING THE FUNDAMENTALS
First, feedback for new L2s should focus on any areas of weakness that the L2 certification process may have revealed. Most L2s pass the L2 test despite weaknesses. But passing doesn’t mean the weaknesses don’t matter. It’s possible to live with a deficiency for so long that we can forget it’s a deficiency. And habits are hard to break.
As I worked towards L2, I struggled with multiple replacement effects. Becoming an L2 did not magically make me an expert at that area. I had to intentionally seek out feedback from other judges on both my understanding of the concept and my ability to explain that concept to players during a judge call to help improve in that area.
When you work with a newer L2, review more than just the questions they missed on their L2 test. Review the relevant concepts. Return to those concepts in new contexts. Create an ongoing discussion of the areas for improvement that they discovered as L1s.
TEACHING NEW CONTENT
Second, feedback for new L2s should also focus on new expectations, like knowledge of the IPG and Competitive REL. While L2s will continue to need to develop their ability to run Regular REL events, the change to judging Competitive REL events requires an understanding of a much more detailed document (IPG).
Specifically, we should be focusing on developing a newer L2’s understanding of the philosophy behind portions of the IPG, not just the actions of the IPG. Sometimes judges are tempted to deviate from the IPG because it feels correct to deviate. This feeling can arise from a limited understanding of the underlying philosophy of the IPG. Early in the L2 experience, feedback on a judge’s understanding of the IPG is crucial to develop solid footing for their judging.
MENTORING NEW L2s TO MENTOR OTHERS
Finally, feedback should focus on the mentorship that new L2s provide for L1s and L1 candidates. There’s a difference between exhibiting the qualities of a good L1 yourself and developing the qualities of a good L1 in others. A strong understanding of layers, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean that a new L2 can effectively teach other judges about them.
Successful mentorship requires an awareness of when and how to review. As a result, we should provide feedback for new L2s not just when they floor judge, but also when they mentor new L1s or L1 candidates. You may find that information for this kind of feedback is better gathered through observations at a judge conference or judge class.
Repetition aids learning. We often need to encounter content multiple times and in multiple ways before we’ve fully integrated it. The fundamental knowledge required of L1s is still fundamental, regardless of a judge’s advancement. We should all be willing to provide (and receive) feedback on the fundamentals throughout our judge careers.
Join me next time as we look at how we can provide targeted feedback for L2s with consistent experience at large events.