I blinked, and this year is almost over. It has been a good one. Filled with ups and downs like they all are. Here are some highlights written as a program update for Video News Production.
Domain 1 - Demonstrating Knowledge of Content & Pedagogy
Goal - With the teaching of new software and the transition to Adobe CC 2015, I will do my best to display knowledge of the software this year. During the 2015-2016 school year, I will learn and integrate the new video production software, Adobe Creative Cloud. I will also update my Video curriculum to reflect the software changes.
Reflection - This school year has been a whirlwind of change. By attending the Adobe Max Conference in early October, I was able to learn from industry leaders and teachers about the new Creative Cloud features. Many of these features are geared towards the industry professional, but I worked hard to provide the students with real world examples of how they can use the features in our school workflow. I developed new demonstration lessons to showcase some of the new features like traveling masks and the new Lumentri Color correction effects panels. It is amazing when I think back to see how every year I teach the same subjects, but the methodology changes almost every year. This is always dictated by the changing tides in the editing software and the engineers who are authoring it.
Domain 2 - Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport
Goal - This year, I would like to continue work on greetings and closings every day with the students. To help create an environment of respect and rapport. I think it is important to greet as many students when they come in the door as possible, and make those small connections before the lesson starts. Also, when the lesson is over and the students leave, try to make eye contact and say goodbye. My goal is to do this every day.
Reflection - This year I have tried to be vigilant about standing outside my door and greeting the kids before class. I have this new technique that I use when I come in the class. I ALWAYS say "Good Morning/Afternoon". For some reason, the kids often continue to talk and ignore my prompt for a greeting and engagement. So I walk out the door, and re-enter the classroom. I re-do the greeting all over again and this time, the kids know I'm serious. This technique seems to work well and I've had many engaging discussions with my classes before we start a lesson. I find this breaks the ice nicely and the students are more engaged when the real learning begins.
Domain 3 - Engaging Students in Learning
Goal - I will attempt to create activities, assignments, materials and groupings that are appropriate for ALL students and become student driven. This goal applies to ALL students, but specifically focusing on my students with special needs (504 and IEP plan accommodations)
Reflection - This year I have integrated the use of the iPad with special needs students in my video production classes. It has been AMAZING! I have had students that function on a very low level, be able to produce stories and take photos at a very high level. The tools of the iPad and iMovie with the built in camera and microphone are very easy to use. I also find that most special needs students have been previously exposed to the use of the iOS devices and so the learning curve is very shallow to integrate video and photography. It is really cool to see the students eyes light up when they come to me with a finished video. They are so proud of what they have accomplished. One student, who I have had in many classes, was able to do almost ALL of the digital photography projects and document it on his class blog. This may sound normal, but this is the first time I have been able to keep a lower functioning student up with the content of the rest of the class. I have received many compliments from the connecting teachers and the student's parents about what they are able to do in video production and digital photography.
Domain 4 - Maintaining Accurate Records
Goal - I will enter attendance every day and update grades for each class at least one time per week.
Reflection - I'm still working on this. I enter my attendance at the end of the day (most days). If I forget, I email Kathy James and she puts it in. I have been fairly consistent on entering grades weekly, but sometimes I get backed up and this doesn't happen until the following week. That's life!
it's not the ONLY thing.
Every year, my video program competes in multiple video competitions around Michigan. The last few years we have found our videos competing very successfully against other area programs. It has been a great external motivator for my students and that is why I do it. But we don't always win!
In a way, I like it when we don't win. Don't get me wrong, I'm a competitive person and I LOVE winning, but as a teacher, I see more growth from my students when they don't succeed. It forces the students to step back, re-evaluate, and figure out how to improve.
Sometimes though, a student or video just deserves to be recognized. I am very proud of the successful season we have had this year. I don't always have DATA and numbers to back up my student's growth, but I do have a nice collections of trophies, plaques and certificates that say we're doing something right!
And I'll take that any day.
A TON of work goes into producing a weekly news show. I sometimes feel like it is just the expectation these days around school that we see a high quality show every week. We, as human beings, naturally get used to this quality and take it for granted. But it's not something that just happens! It is a never-ending process of students (and me) growing and improving that takes lots of work and sometimes failure to accomplish.
Sometimes a simple "Thank You" can get you through the day and make you look forward to doing it all over again next week. I recently received this from a colleague:
"Danke schön! You and SHS Heute Team do wonderful things for our school. I so appreciate the little highlight on German Club last week. We may be a minority language at this school, but I hope your segment inspired others to drop by our club and perhaps try a language they never considered before. Thanks again for all you do to showcase little gems and jewels of our school."
Your welcome. I'll be sure to share this with the students. Here's to the next show!
Every year I take my students to the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association's Fall Conference. It is great experience for the kids to get out of the school and learn video knowledge from someone other than me! Industry professionals and other area teachers volunteer to lead sessions about the industry.
The last two years I have had the honor to teach a session on creating graphics. Below are some photos taken by Hunter Staples during the session.
Teaching this session made me realize that I really do LOVE to teach. If I can get past the long hours and extra extras that are thrown at us at an alarming rate these days, I really do love to teach. Being in front of a group of 50-70 new students from all different districts, it was exciting. In the moment, I remembered why I became a teacher, and that was to make a difference.
Now, hopefully some of the kids I taught today use the tips I gave them!
Thanks for reading.
Sited from Dr. Helber's weekly memo 9-14-15. Sagor (1993) summarizes the research findings of the last decade to identify the kinds of experiences students must have every day in order to leave school optimistic about their educational and personal futures. He suggests that key experiences fall under these four categories:
■ Belonging: experiences that show them they are valued members of a community
■ Competence: experiences that provide them with authentic evidence of academic success
■ Potency: experiences that make them feel empowered
■ Usefulness: experiences that reinforce feelings that they have made a useful contribution to their community
I truly hope that my video and photography classes can provide this for kids. I tell students that their mission in high school is to find ONE thing they are good at, or can be a part of. It's out there. It's up to us as teachers to provide many opportunities for kids to find that sense of belonging, competence, potency and usefulness over four years of high school.
Sometimes students say it best. These reflections, which are part of my final evaluations in my video news classes, really hit home with me. It has been a great year and we have definitely made an impact in these student's lives.
"...Lastly I learned something about myself (not real learning but.....) that I found something I actually enjoy. I have never liked anything more then doing video and I learned that I'm actually decent at something. Being in video news made me realize a lot but most of all it made me realize I can be good at something. It made me realize I need to believe in myself and my work. Thats something I had a hard time with it took me a long time to realize but I felt over time I started realizing my potentials."
"This class is everything I could wish for in a class, and I have no desire to change it. Everything in it is fun and feels worthy of my time. A lot of classes in school have subjects that have no explanation of when you would use the skills/concepts you learn in the class, and this one does the exact opposite. We learn here exactly where we will use what we learned, which makes the class feel useful in itself."
"The thing that I enjoyed most about this class was going to 5th hour on Friday and watching the finished product. I always felt proud watching the show of both myself and my team. This has been a great class and I can’t wait till next year to start all over again."
All I can say is that sometimes the kids say it better than I can. Thanks for reading.
Last night we had the opportunity to shoot the 2015 Commencement ceremony. It is an event that I look forward to every year, yet fear the consequences of messing up something! This year, we tried something new. We LIVE STREAMED the event. This added another layer to the production, yet turned out really well.
We had 350 unique viewers of the content, and the feedback that Scot Graden gave us was positive. I think this is the current future and a service we will be providing to the community next year for all the live events we shoot.
Here is a link to the "live" event.
I started doing final reflections with my photography students a couple years ago. I believe this assignment is one of the most important things I do all trimester with the students. I gives them the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned, and for me to see evidence of their learning beyond the assignments they have turned in.
It is nice to be able to see inside a student's mind as they think about and process all the items we have covered in a class. Using technology to be able to quickly showcase their learning is another benefit of this tool. I highly recommend it to other teachers to incorporate in their classes.
Here are a couple examples: