Today, as part of my school’s Professional Growth Program, I used an iPad mounted on a tripod to video myself teaching. I have only had time to watch the first seven minutes, but I have already derived a lot of benefit from watching things like my posture, my tone of voice, where I stand, and the extent to which students are focused on contributing vs. typing (i.e., head up vs. head in laptop).
A side benefit is the fact that I had to explain the presence of the camera to my every curious / squirrelly class. This led to a quick but good conversation about a lot of meta-concepts that matter to me and that I enjoy teaching but often do not, at least explicitly: the benefits of practice, the value of reflection, the importance of seeing yourself “in the act of,” and the necessity, for growth, of being self critical without being overly hard on yourself.
They think I’m a pretty good teacher. I know this because I’ve surveyed them. I like the implied lesson of the camera’s presence — even pretty good, even well rehearsed, even — or rather, especially — automatic can seek to improve. Must seek to improve.