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A weekly periodical
  • Writer's pictureallisonjolester

Lights, Camera, Cringe! Embracing the Awkwardness of Video Observations Episode 2

Hi, wonderful teachers! Welcome back to Part 2 of my Video Observation series (for Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4).

It's time to talk about the super-sized, neon-lit elephant in the room: video observations and the awkwardness of it all.

Yes, it can be as awkward as high-school dancing, as uncomfortable as tight shoes on a hot day, and watching yourself can feel like walking the educational equivalent of a red carpet in pajamas. But darling, it's also an epic treasure chest of insights into your own teaching practice.

Think of video observations as your very own 'awkward-ometer.' It's like watching a sitcom where you're the main character, and yes, there will be times you'll want to hide behind your popcorn. But, trust me, it's all part of the process, and the benefits far outweigh the cringe factor. After all, growth isn't comfortable, right?

So, how do we navigate this teaching blooper reel, and what are some strategies to make the most of our facepalm moments? Let's dive in:

1. Prepare for the Uncomfortable: Before hitting record, prepare yourself for a certain level of discomfort. Remember, the goal is not to create a picture-perfect performance but to capture your authentic teaching. So, embrace the bloopers, the "did I really just say that?" moments, and the "wow, I need to work on that" revelations. These are all signposts on the road to improvement.

2. Keep the End Goal in Sight: Yes, watching yourself can be squirm-inducing, but remember why you're doing it. The goal is to learn, grow, and refine your craft. It's like going through old yearbook photos - sure, the hairstyles might make you cringe, but look at how far you've come!

3. Do it with a Buddy: If you can, watch your videos with a trusted colleague. Not only can they offer insights you might have missed, but they can also lighten the mood. Plus, laughing at yourself together is a fantastic way to turn discomfort into camaraderie.

4. The Mute Button is Your Friend: Sometimes, the sound of our own voice is the biggest hurdle. Try watching your video on mute first to focus purely on the visual aspects of your teaching. Then, bring in the sound. This can make the viewing experience less overwhelming.

5. Practice Compassionate Observation: As you watch, practice viewing yourself with kindness and understanding. We all have off days, and no one is perfect. Instead of being harsh on yourself, take the position of a supportive friend.

6. Reflect, Reflect, Reflect: After you've navigated the initial awkwardness, take a step back and reflect. What have you learned about your teaching? What surprised you? What would you like to change or develop? Use these reflections as your roadmap for growth.

The cringe factor of video observations is real, but it's also a goldmine of potential growth. It's the doorway to a deeper understanding of your teaching style, your classroom dynamics, and your students' learning.

So, grab your popcorn, brace yourself for a few blushes, and remember: every awkward moment is just an opportunity to learn. Lights, camera, action, my brave educators! Here's to embracing the uncomfortable for the sake of growth.

Until next time, keep being your wonderful, awkward, ever-learning selves!


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