Professional Development – Part 7 – Notices /Wonderings

Mel Hamada in G8 Badminton Class at ISB

This week I have been watching and thinking about my teaching practice.  I have blogged about this a lot already but you can read the last blog post here that explains what I am currently doing.

I will say that I was very nervous about what I would see watching these videos.  I always find my voice the most interesting – do I really sound like that?  But once my nervousness and feeling of worry were over, it was interesting to watch the lesson from the camera lens perspective, rather than from what I see while teaching.  It was so powerful to have this opportunity and to make some notes along the way.  I have made two different types of notes – Notices and Wonderings.

Notices are the things that you see in the video that everyone who watches the video will see.  They are not things you can contest or argue over and they are good to identify with first so that you can see what you Notice and compare to others – maybe you will notice very different things as your perspective could be so different.

Things I notice over the four videos:

  • I have been working on not putting hands in pockets or crossing my arms across my chest – I notice that I am not doing that (this had been an issue for me) so I feel good that I may have undone that habit
  • I am not smiling
  • Lots of 1:1 with students
  • Constantly moving around the space
  • Teacher wait time (after posing a question) is about 2-4 seconds
  • Students I am not talking with aren’t moving around as much as I had thought they were (off task?)
  • I touch the students on the back/ shoulder
  • Standing close to the coach in the 1:1 moments,
  • Lots of questions asked by me to students
  • I notice that energy level is low – I assumed when things were going on that the level of student movement was higher
  • Students are coaching and observing play with each other
  • Students use constructive language when they talk to each other
  • In this 30 minutes I have spoken 1:1 to every student
  • I have visited and worked with all groups in this section
  • Students fiddle with their racquets while I am talking or they are sharing.
  • I use the whiteboard with images/text for conversation
  • Using countdown 5-4-3-2-1 to get students to our conversation space so we can chat/transition to new section
  • Some of my girls in this class look nervous.

Wonderings must be phrased as questions.  It is good to ask as you reflect so you can engage in what might be missing or what you are thinking about as you watch.  These are not black and white and could include other information or processing that you consider important.

Things I wonder about over the four videos:

  • Is my teacher wait time long enough? (after posing a question or statement to a coach, do I leave them enough time to reply?) What is the best time frame?  How do I monitor this when I do this activity as I end up talking to a lot of people and go over the same thing over and over again, how do I keep my teach wait time on the 15th conversation as it was in the 1st one?
  • How can I stop being frustrated with students that are off task?
  • Where is the best place to stand?
  • Whether I could not use Gym 3 as this limits space for us to play in
  • How do I make myself more available to students?  Is this a priority?
  • Should I be more aware of where I am contacting students – (research on this needs to be checked now about Student safety policy etc.)
  • Is the language students use collaborative and connective enough.  Students had documents and there were online resources.  They chose not to use them – I wonder why?
  • The skill set and conversations  – are they too long?  How could I work this into a more game like situation?  Say serve and return or Serve and catch the bird to make it more interesting and game like?
  • How do I reduce teacher talk?  Is it okay for me to roll out our differentiated game with conversation and discussion over 5 minutes?  Or is this too long?
  • Is the use of the Whiteboard effective?  Do my EAL students need it?  or would another approach help us?
  • How do I engage students to come up with more questions – I used to do this via technology too but this has become more of an issue.
  • Facilities and the Whiteboard change every lesson – how could I use these spaces more effectively or limit the movement impact on my lessons?
  • Are the students engaged?  Is this enough?
  • Am I fun as a teacher?  How do I build up students to come and chat to me about challenges?

I will take a week or two to reflect here and consider whether anyone else steps up to share their Notices/ Wonderings and ponder my focus questions as well to see where I would like to process and go next.  Everyone is invited to share their Notices/Wonderings with me here or via email or social media…. and I challenge you to consider having someone come to film your lesson so you can also go through your Notices/wonderings and into the next phase.  Thank you in advance to anyone who contributes.