Almost two years have passed since I recorded every mini-lesson for the whole year in my Grade 6 English class. Here is how I use still use them:
- Teacher support – I’ve shared the channel and unit playlists on a variety of platforms and many teachers have responded positively saying that the videos have helped them. I also share them with teachers on my team as refreshers for upcoming units.
- Reading Intervention prep – I teach reading intervention groups using LLI each day. I constantly refer to my videos so I know exactly what is happening each day of the unit. LLI provides opportunities to teach a large number of skills and referring back to my own teaching helps me choose something appropriate. It’s like having a script of what I said for a whole year that’s very neatly organized.
- Professional Growth – I often look at the playlist and think about why some of the lessons were so damn long. I’ll watch parts of the lesson and talk with English teachers about where I screwed up so that they can avoid the same mistakes. I think about what I could have done differently, what makes me cringe, and what makes me proud. Conveniently, YouTube playlists show the time of the video in the thumbnail.
- Reminiscence – The videos capture two quarters of school prior to COVID. They are like the book Tommy discovers is “The Fun They Had.” Like the book in the story, the videos are a window into the past when students and teachers didn’t wear masks, could sit shoulder to shoulder, and hi-five each other. It was a time when we could see each other smile, and I am fortunate to have captured it.
- Adjustment & Growth – No one was prepared for virtual school. Being able to look at my early virtual workshop lessons and compare them to the end of the year is interesting for me because I can see how we evolved as virtual students and teachers, as departments, and as teams of teachers.
These aren’t the only reasons to record yourself teaching. These are on my mind right now because the unit that just started in English is Social Issues Book Clubs, the last in-person unit of the 2019-2020 school year. It’s hard to believe two years have passed.
I feel fortunate to have these recordings and suggest everyone try it.