I’ve mentioned before, but this year I’m pursuing my National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts. If you are unfamiliar with the process, check out the video below.
To certify, I need to write four portfolio entries and pass a test. Two of the entries are responses to 15 minute videos of whole and small group lessons. I’ve barely gotten my feet wet with this process, but the experience has already been enriching.
Last week, two of my colleagues who are also candidates and I video taped parts of our lessons. Yesterday, as a part of a coaching event for National Boards put on by the Arizona K12 Center, the three of us sat down with a mentor who is already an NBCT. We watched each other’s videos and offered suggestions.
This can be scary! For some, criticism is hard to take even when it’s constructive. For others, we are so used to practicing behind closed doors away from any other adult eyes that it can be quite intimidating to let others in. And then there’s the one who didn’t get enough sleep the night before and is worried about her dark under eye circles, and OMG, someone needs a haircut! Of course, I am that third person. 🙂
But, what a valuable learning experience! And you really don’t need crazy technology to do something like this. We used a Flip cam our district owns propped up on books or baskets to get a view of the students working. I’ve already talked to some other teacher pals to see if they’d be interested in doing something like this every so often. I’d love to take turns with my teammates bringing a 5-10 minute clip to team meeting each week to provide each other with feedback. It’s time-consuming and a maybe frightening, but I’m willing to put in the time if someone will send me some good concealer and call my hair stylist for an appointment. If we really want to grow as teachers, it’s time to stop hiding out in our classrooms. Crazy idea. What do you think?
On a tangential note, I’m excited to announce that starting this week I’m joining up with a teachers’ book study right here on the Interwebz!
I just ordered this book on Amazon. It features 49 simple strategies, and we will be focusing on one each week. Each blogger will share ways s/he’s implemented the strategy that week. As readers, you’ll have easy access to all of the blog entries, but more importantly, you can comment and share your own ideas without going through the work of setting up and maintaining your own blog.
Check back later this week for my Strategy #1 – No Opt Out. If you know me at all, you’ll know I have A LOT to say about that (What do you mean I have A LOT to say about everything?) I’m looking forward to it!