Slice of Life: One Zoom Morning (Time-Lapse)

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I know this is strangely narcissistic, but I was curious to know what I looked like, teaching remote via Zoom, and even more so, what would that teaching look like in time-lapse video? So, I did it. Here it is.

The other morning, during our Morning Meeting and then into our Vocabulary Lesson, for about 50 minutes, I let my iPad snap moments in time-lapse. It’s intriguing to see myself through that kind of lens, and I was curious about visual clues of interactions with students.

Here are some observations:

  • I seem to be smiling a lot and laughing quite a bit, which I want to note, is how I hope I am interacting with my students via video feed;
  • I seem to be talking more than listening. I know that students are also talking and sharing and participating, but maybe not nearly as much as I am;
  • My face demeanor changes once we transitioned from Morning Meeting (where everything is about playful connections) to the actual lesson on vocabulary, as we moved into talking about the work they had done;
  • It’s strange to see oneself like this, but a version (in regular speed) of this is what my students see each day we are in Remote Learning (this week, it continues a few more days).

Peace (looking in, looking out),

  1. I love how you are always asking questions and curious and seeing to learn. That shines through all you do. I love how you were able to stand outside yourself to study yourself and how your face and demeanor changed at different points and for different reasons. It seems like online teaching requires more teacher talk than in person….I miss the days of pairing and sharing and gathering together and students collaborating in real time and space.

    • That does seem to be true (more talking on the screen). It may be that we are trying to fill the gaps, when if we were in the room together, we could let the quiet sit for a bit and allow that to happen. We could better read faces.

  2. Wow, this is so brave and so necessary! The research that is coming about virtual teaching is so interesting and your knowledge of your self, this reflection on your practice which is so intimate and indisputable, is a model for us. Now, I must go and do the same. Thank you for sharing this wonderful reflection.

  3. This is a fascinating experiment. I wonder what the kids would say if surveyed about what they notice about teachers in these flat-screen spaces. Are your students old enough to ask?

  4. Love the multimedia slice of life! You’re so right–it’s important to put ourselves in our students’ shoes, to see what they see, to imagine what they are experiencing as learners in remote classrooms. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Kevin, your study brings up several thoughts on the teacher as the facilitator/guide. If we talk to students more than listen are we doing justice to meeting student needs? How can we slow done to allow for deeper interaction? Chris Tovani ran studies showing where teacher talk time was extended when in fact it should be lessened. Your meandering mind has sparked mine to ponder more deeply.

  6. What a wonderful experiment – one that every teacher should try out. I love how invested you are in the way you teach and interact with students. I’m curious – what grade are you teaching?

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