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Watching Our Own Teaching

October 11, 2013

Two weeks ago, a few teachers videotaped a number of their classes, watched them, and then came together to talk about their insights from watching their own classes.  Here are some insights we can all consider as we continue to explore and innovate in our classrooms.

I participated along with Mary Kelly, Diahann Johnson, Terence Gilheany, and Eric Finch. Here’s what we found:

  • Teachers felt there was a higher level of accountability for the teacher just by taping the class.
  • Teachers focused critically on their mannerisms; we found we could be more lively, more energetic.
  • Were our mannerisms distracting? Do we focus too much on mannerisms, and not on how we are teaching?
  • Terence felt during these classes that he was more conscious of the teaching choices he was making; Diahann worried she was teaching in an artificial manner with the video on.
  • We all realized the importance of asking for student feedback on the classes, inviting them into the discussion and planning of the classes
  • Where teachers witnessed strong moments of teaching, the teachers had control of the discussion, kept the focus on the topic/lesson
  • Teachers felt the video helped keep them on task; it raised the expectations for the teacher because the teacher knew this class was being recorded

I’d like to have 3-5 more teachers video their classes next week.  Our goal is to have everyone video classes this year, and incorporate them into their teaching portfolio.

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