I Googled the following for fun.
The flipped classroom can be interesting, cool, and useful. But transformative? A high yield instructional tool, tactic, or strategy? Come on.
What if we turned that video camera on ourselves for a different reason? How about, on occasion, we video ourselves teaching and our students learning so we can focus not on the content of what is being explained, but to deconstruct our own teaching?
One of the most important moments I ever experienced as a classroom teacher was the first time I really saw myself teaching a full lesson in front of a class. It was around five years ago. I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in a series of workshops Barrie Bennett was running for school administrators on how best to give feedback during/after walkthroughs.
I still have the video, but cannot post it here because: a) there are students in the video whose parental and personal consent I do not have to do so; and b) it horrifies me to the core. The voice, the hair, the constant pacing, that weird thing I do with my hands! Ghastly would be the word.
A few days after the filmographer completed her afternoon in my class, Barrie Bennett did something to me which blew my mind. In front of an audience of a couple of dozen principals, we collectively watched the video as he gave me amazingly helpful feedback on everything I was doing during the lesson. It was like a colour commentator breaking down the 3rd down play on ESPN. Really, it blew my mind. If there was a photo or video of me during that moment, it probably would have looked like this. You know how all of us who are kinda OK at this teaching thing can cite a few seminal moments or people that influenced us or transformed our thinking and practice? That day is in my top 5.
Since that day, I have always found it almost too easy to step out of my own shoes and watch myself teach as though I were a fly on the wall. It taught me that one of the most important things about being a transparent, growth-oriented educator is to be not only figuratively, but literally reflective to one person in particular.
Have you ever filmed yourself teaching, or contemplating doing so? If yes, tell me about your experience. If no, what’s stopping you?