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A weekly periodical
  • Writer's pictureallisonjolester

Rolling Action on Teacher Growth: The Cinematic Marvel of Video Observations Episode 1

Hey there, fabulous film star educators! This week I am focusing a four-part series on the the groundbreaking, ego-checking, and truly transformative practice of...drum observations! This method of professional development is like your very own teacher's director's cut, offering an unfiltered view of your teaching magic in action. And the best part? The only paparazzi you'll encounter is your trusty video recorder.

But why is video observation the next box-office hit in the world of teaching? Well, imagine being able to freeze time, zoom into the finest details of your teaching, and even hit rewind to revisit those 'blink and you miss it' moments. It's like having a magical time-turner, but instead of saving Sirius Black, you're enhancing your teaching practice.

So, how can you use video observations to illuminate your teaching and refine your craft? Here are a few strategies to help you become the Spielberg of your classroom:

1. Lights, Camera, Intention! Before hitting the record button, set clear goals. What part of your teaching do you want to focus on? Maybe it's your classroom management, your use of questioning, or the way you move around the room. Like any great filmmaker, know what scenes you're aiming to capture.

2. The Cut is in the Action: Don't aim for a perfectly choreographed performance. The real value comes from capturing the raw, unfiltered reality of your classroom. Embrace the 'bloopers' - they're often where the richest learning happens!

3. Watch, Rinse, Reflect, Repeat: The replay button is your best friend. Watch your 'performance' multiple times. On the first watch, observe neutrally. On the second, zoom in on your goals. On the third, note students' reactions. With each replay, you'll uncover new layers of insight.

4. Critique, Don't Criticize: This isn't about nitpicking every 'um' or 'ah.' It's about gaining a broader view of your teaching and honing in on areas of growth. Remember, you're not aiming to be the next Meryl Streep of teaching - you're aiming to be the best version of you.

5. Share the Spotlight: Consider sharing your video with trusted colleagues. This can open up opportunities for feedback, collaborative reflection, and collective growth. Plus, it's always a hoot watching yourself on screen with popcorn and pals!

Video observation is truly a game-changer. It pulls back the curtain on your teaching and paves the way for intentional, informed improvement. And who knows, you might discover you have the director's eye!

So, grab your camera, embrace the spotlight, and action!

Until next time, cinematic educators, keep shining, keep filming, and keep growing.


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