This is my periodic post on the life of a middle school teacher.
As part of a commitment to myself to “open my classroom door” in order to improve my practice and share my learning, I decided to videotape my class and share it with other teachers. My students’ curiosity was immediately engaged when they saw the Flip Camera perched on a tripod in the class. They were excited, polite … and yet themselves. When the lesson was over, I was relieved, curious as to how my lesson would look from a stationary viewpoint, and fearful of seeing myself.
As I reviewed the video, I was pleased with some things and bothered by my using only verbal re-direction cues and saying the word “so” too much. Overall, I thought it was going well though. Until I turned my back for a moment to write a student’s question on the board. Immediately one student talked about how I had one marker on the SmartBoard tray turned in the opposite direction from the others. More students joined in sharing other teachers who do the same thing. Really!! I thought we were discussing the thought process used to answer a question they had in Social Studies. Needless to say, I immediately turned all my markers so they faced in the same direction. I might as well eliminate such an easy source of distraction.
Learning: You never really know where their minds are when they are quiet. Keep them sharing and discussing as much as possible.