Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Videotaping Teachers Teaching

In our grant, we said that we would videotape teachers teaching as a way of helping ourselves reflect on our teaching and learn from each other. In the last week, three of our Hebrew staff were videotaped and the entire Hebrew staff met, watched the videos, reflected on the teaching and the teacher reflected on her own teaching.

We realized that we needed to watch the segments more than once to truly learn from the experience. There were things we missed in the first viewing. We also learned that it is important for the person filming to know what the essential questions are so that she could focus on that while filming. It is important to edit in advance so that we are watching that which is most important.

The experience helped us find common pedagogic questions for us to share and work through, to learn from each other, to count on each other, and to recognize the differences in each other’s teaching style. We also discussed the ways that we can support each other in meeting different students’ needs based on our teaching styles. Perhaps we will do a better job of matching teachers with classes in the future based on our learning from all of us being exposed to each others’ teaching through video. That may not be what we decide, but this helped us frame the question.

We had a very lengthy discussion on the presentation of new vocabulary at every level of teaching. How much focus is spent on helping kids understand the words before translating them is dependent on the importance of that vocabulary word as a foundation for other learning.

We were also made more aware of how often teachers used English when they did not have to and reflected on how to ensure that this does not happen unless it is with students who truly need it.

The teachers feel that the experience helped them reflect deeply on their own teaching through watching others. The experience raised their consciousness about many things, including their tone, their methodology, and the materials they used They learned new ideas, discussed and shared and a sense of team was truly present.

--The Hebrew Team at SASSDS

1 comment:

Sujan Manandhar said...

I think videotaping is an excellent method of revisiting a course. A good course can also be streamed and/or archived for future reference for students and teachers.

Sujan Manandhar
Instructional Aids Associate, OSU