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Video Puts the Focus on Self-Improvement for Teachers

 |   |  Educator Effectiveness, Video Observation

The most successful schools build a culture of self-improvement. In a recent post on Edutopia, math teacher Dylan Kane writes about how schools can create an atmosphere where teachers constantly work on their pedagogy by following the precepts of “deliberate practice.” Whatever you call it, ongoing improvement requires teachers to examine what they’re doing in class to find areas of excellence and areas that might need improvement.

Kane writes about using the voice recorder on his phone to capture lessons:

I can turn the voice recorder on for a few minutes of discussion and listen to it after class to learn how I could improve my facilitation in that moment. Every time I do this, I am surprised at how many phrases I want to take back—I’m not nearly as eloquent as I would like to think. Focused practice doesn’t necessarily mean focusing more in the moment. Instead, it means finding more ways to examine, unpack, and learn from practice.

An even richer way to “examine, unpack, and learn from practice” is to capture lessons on video. Like Kane, some teachers’ first reaction to seeing themselves in action might be that they’re not as eloquent as they’d like to think. But, as Insight ADVANCE CEO Dr. Michael Moody explains in the lecture excerpt above, choosing videos to share with their peers or administrators ends up empowering teachers. As an evaluation tool, a video is an objective piece of evidence that both teachers and administrators can refer to, making the entire process less confrontational and more collaborative.

But most importantly, as Dr. Moody explains, videos inspire teachers to work on their practice on their own. In his travels around the country, he often sees teachers who make a video, watch it, make changes to what they’re doing in class, and then make another video. This is the living embodiment of a culture of self-improvement, where, as he puts it, every day teachers are “growing their own practice without any involvement from anyone else.”

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About the Author
Don Rescigno

Don Rescigno is CEO of Insight ADVANCE. In this role, he leads a team responsible for delivering teachers and administrators cutting-edge solutions, like ADVANCEfeedback®, that use the latest in audio and video technology to provide meaningful feedback and support to teachers through video-based observations, coaching and evaluations.

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