It’s been quite a start to the school year. Yes, I know it’s almost December and that we started close to three months ago but that’s how busy the year has been. This is my first “Back to the Point” blog post of the 2015-2016 school year!
I’ve been moved to write often but haven’t found the time to sit down and actually make it happen. Today I received an email from a friend and former colleague who was with me last year when I gave a Moth Radio-inspired talk at a gathering of National Board Certified Teachers in Albany through the National Board Council of New York. It was an 11-minute talk about how hard my first year back in the classroom was after being out for three years. I watched it afterschool today and it almost brought me to tears. That year was a tough one, no doubt.
It also made me reflect on the power of video to record moments in our practice, moments of celebration, moments of reflection. Two weeks ago my co-teacher and I spent a day with a 4-person film crew from the Teaching Channel. I am a Teaching Channel Laureate this year and they came in to film a lesson where we were trying something new. I am focusing on getting better at meeting the needs of diverse learners in my classroom so we were using stations facilitated by the two teachers and two paraprofessionals in our room to teach and learn in targeted small groups. It was a hectic day but once the school bell rang my co-teacher and I had a chance to sit down in front of the cameras and reflect on what had happened in our lesson with our students. I left school close to 8pm that night but I was grateful for the opportunity to have a structured time to sit and reflect on my practice. To have someone ask me targeted questions about the decisions I’d made in a non-evaluative space. To be in an environment where new ideas and strategies could bubble up and grow. It felt like an opportunity that should be more frequent and regular for us as practitioners. I’d like to use video more this year as a way to get better at teaching, as a way to reflect, and as a way to grow.
Do you use video in your practice at all? To record your practice? To reflect on it? If so, please share some of your experiences or better yet, some of your videos!