I am probably my own biggest critic. I find when I finish a class, I think of all the things I should have said differently. I recognize my first group each morning are my guinea pigs. As I work through math problems, I’m constantly second guessing myself. Did I copy the problem right, did I miss a negative sign? And am I explaining each step clearly. When I get tight on time, do I really need to vocalize each step? By the last class of the day, I have smoothed out my instruction. All of my sessions are recorded but I nearly always save and share the last session of the day.
I have started to review my lessons the night before and do my best to think through how I want to explain a concept. I work through every problem before I present it. This preparation has helped me improve my first class. By feeling more prepared, I am finding I am less critical and more enthusiastic about my presentations. I have also gone back and watched a few of my own recordings to check my own pace and see how I can be more concise.
When brick and mortar teachers transitioned to distance learning, I heard many hesitate over the requirement of recording. Colleagues expressed concern for recordings not always showing their best teaching practices. Others questioned student privacy capabilities. And some worried that a recording could be used as ‘evidence against them’.
Set the fears aside. I have yet to see recordings being used to discredit a teacher. Use them to help you reflect on your own practice. If you aren’t happy with your presentations, record a dress rehearsal to identify where you need to smooth out explanations.
But most of all, recognize that recordings are a huge benefit for distance learning! I have heard countless anecdotes that students like being able to go back and watch recordings, work at their own pace, access them when they are available and use them as reviews. They are an ideal tool for struggling students or those that miss a class due to illness or a doctor appointment. They help students who are slow taking notes or want to check their own work.
Next time you hit the record button, think of it as a special way to help your students – all of your students – learn from you!