Watching yourself teach?! Cringe?

One of the guidelines that I have given myself when producing the videos for the Flipped Classroom project is that they are ‘one take’.  If I screw up, then I do it live, just like I would in class, recover from the ‘deliberate’ mistake and move on.  We have all thought from time to time, no matter our level of experience “I wish that I’d explained that better” and it is this kind of reflection that makes you a better teacher.

What better way to do this then, than watching yourself give a lesson on video?  This in itself is an extremely brave thing to do…just ask any actor, and will make many people cringe with absolute embarrassment.  I have found though, that it is a very valuable way to reflect on my own teaching practice.  That is not to say that I have made drastic changes to the way that I teach, but I have noticed little things, for example, I say ‘OK’ waaaaayyy to much!  See this video for liberal sprinkling of OK!

Of course, lecturing to an empty classroom feels weird.  There is no interaction with your audience, no questioning throughout the lecture portion of the lesson, and let’s face it…you are speaking to a wee camera on a tripod!  This means that you behave differently in front of the camera to your regular scintillating personality in the classroom.  Another challenge of flipping, is to not let this happen, bring your hidden Oscar-winning acting skills to the fore and deliver the lesson in an engaging and interactive way.

The main thing is, that as teachers we reflect and evaluate on a consistent basis.  In the hurly burly of curriculum change, exam preparation…I could go on forever but you get the point – we are BUSY! Flipping the classroom has allowed me to reflect on aspects of my repertoire that I would not normally, and it has been a cleansing and worthwhile experience.


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