I love video recording!
As those of you who follow the blog regularly will remember, I published a post titled ” At the Peak of Egoism” a couple of days ago. That one was about reflections on my own teaching having seen a lesson recorded. In the post I said I still had a plan for remedial teaching in my mind, and today I put my plan into practice.
It went better than I hoped. When I first entered the classroom, I gave my students a hand out with only 6 questions on Possessive Adjectives, and asked them to answer them correctly. They obeyed me without hesitation completing the exercise in about 3 minutes.
Then I elicited the answers seeing that my students filled in the blanks correctly-they even said “Hocam, this is nothing for us”. My next step was to show several pictures of celebrities one at a time and expect them to describe their hair, clothes, jewelry, and make-up.
Not surprisingly, every student that spoke used the adjectives as was required-they, this time, asked “Hocam, what type of students do you think we are?”. I understood very well that they were enjoying their victory, so I had evidence at hand that they really did not have any problems with possessive adjectives.
After assuring my students of the fact that I knew they had good English, I came to the recording. The class felt highly jubilant and cried out words of joy. It was wonderful to watch them pleased as they saw themselves on the screen. But I had to interfere and asked them to watch the part I would set and think about what might not be so great about the answers they were giving following the activity requiring the use of Possessive Adjectives.
At this stage, they were very careful, so one of them immediately asked “Hocam, can we say She is favorite____?”. My answer was to tell him to wait and hear all the other answers. As every other student on the video kept answering with the same mistake, I paused the recording, and asked about what was said to confirm that they were listening to the responses.
All the answers heard, my students said “Hocam, we didn’t use the possessive adjectives”. That was the thing I wanted to hear, so I asked why they thought they had done it the wrong way. One of them stated that she was not really aware of what she was speaking; another pointed that he really had no idea why; still another said “Hocam, I thought it was the right thing to do because you were not correcting”.
The last reply was the reality itself. Yes, I had not corrected them on that day allowing them to make the same mistake over and over. When I admitted the fact, one of my students said “Maybe we would have stopped speaking if you had corrected the mistake”. I could not believe my ears hearing that my A-Repeating students were reflecting on their shortcoming as well as mine! I was so happy that I felt it really was something, I really was making a difference.
Finally, I encouraged the class to look for a mistake I made letting them see another 5-minute section of the video. The first answer to come was “Hocam, how much you talked!”. When I heard that statement, I was about to cry of joy. They were reflecting and, at the same time, they were criticizing. I applauded them and said that I was sorry because I had totally forgotten to involve them on the task because I myself was playing to the audience. Then, they said “Hocam, don’t worry. You were just trying to protect us!”.
I became aware once more as they were trying to console me that students were able to realize everything happening more than we, teachers, believed they could. I was proud of them because they cared about learning, and they also understood how I much I cared about them.
Having talked about all that stuff, they asked me to arrange another video recording session so that they and I could turn things around that time. To my surprise, my A-Repeaters were more than motivated to prove that they could do much better and show that they had a good teacher. This being the case, I told them that I rally believed they would qualify for the next level as long as they were that interested in making progress. They felt over the moon once more as they saw my faith in them.
It should be emphasized that today was extraordinary. I realized something that I would have never done if it were not for the chance of reflecting with my students on each others’ performance. Also, I figured out the real value of sharing, and I knew that could be done not only with my colleagues but also with my students. It all showed me that I had made the right decision to go for such a challenge as video recording my lesson. I must also say at this point that I appreciate Tony Gurr for his incessant trust in me and his words of encouragement while I felt gloomy and thought I was not improving my skills of teaching.
In short, seeing myself acting on the camera was one experience unlike another, and it helped my students as well as me despite the errors committed; therefore, I sincerely believe that no obstacle could ever remain overcome by adopting the right approach and being positive. Then I promise myself in this very post that I will always do more than my best to walk-the-talk and help my students of any level discover their true potential.