“On days when my mentor teacher is gone, I can record myself teaching and notice behaviors and mannerisms that I do that I wouldn’t otherwise have noticed, and then those are things I can immediately change the next day,” said Suzanna Shugert, who is currently working to get her teaching licensure through the Boettcher Teacher Residency.
Suzanna teaches fifth-grade literacy and math at Soar Elementary Charter School in Denver, Colorado. She is one of more than 100 teacher residents serving in high-needs school across the state.
Like the rest of her teacher-resident peers, Suzanna works alongside a mentor teacher and is supported by an instructional coach from the residency program. She uses Edthena as an outlet to receive feedback from her instructional coach and also as a self-reflective tool to analyze her own teaching.
How does video observation fit into your residency experience?
One of the aspects of the Boettcher Teacher Residency program is that they partner us with an instructional coach. This instructional coach is able to do some in-person observations. However, since there are so many residents compared to the number of coaches, they are not always able to come into our classes every week.
The Edthena app allows them to do virtual observations and still provide feedback without having to actually be in the classroom. I’ll record lessons and attach the lesson plan, and my coach is able to watch the lessons and provide immediate feedback at various points throughout the lesson without actually being there.
How have you used video to reflect on how you’re changing as a teacher?
What I like about video reflection is that it can be used as an immediate reflection tool. I can watch myself teach and then change something immediately the next day.
But I also think it’s really neat to go back and watch those recorded lessons from the beginning of the year and compare them to recently recorded lessons. I can then observe the ways that I’ve changed as an instructor through the entire year, and also can witness the ways that student engagement has changed over time. And that’s not something I would have been able to do had I not recorded the lesson.
Do you feel using Edthena for professional learning has helped you improve?
In addition to receiving that feedback from my coach, I’ve also been able to use it on more of a personal level. On days when I’m solo and mentor teacher is gone, I can record myself teaching and notice behaviors and mannerisms that I wouldn’t otherwise have noticed. I can also capture the student behaviors that I miss.
So it’s been fun to record myself and then look back and notice things like talking slowly at certain points or my posture throughout the lesson. These are things I can immediately change the next day.
What would you say to a teacher who is about to record classroom teaching for the first time?
I would say at first, it can be tempting to record a full 90-minute lesson. However, it can be difficult to then sit down and watch that entire lesson with intention. So, I would really suggest is to record shorter videos where you can get targeted feedback.
Suzanna’s interview is the latest in our Educator Voices series. To see the previous Educator Voices installments, click here.