You know those Capital One commercials that ask, “What’s in your wallet?” Unfortunately, there’s too many people in this world who answer, “I don’t know,” because they’ve got too many credit cards!
Well, this week I asked a different question. I asked, “What’s in my mirror?” No, not that mirror – I already know my hair is never quite right – I was referring to my classroom. I wanted to view my performance as a teacher and the engagement of my students from the back of my classroom, through the mirror of a video camera.
Once done, downloaded, and ready to view, I swallowed hard before looking in the mirror and hitting play. I’ve always considered myself a good teacher, but would I like what I saw when critiquing my reflection? Well, an hour and three pages of notes later, the answer to that question was – YES! I was pleasantly surprised, just like the time I let my friend do my hair for junior prom. I was positive, engaging, and animated. The students were receptive and participated well. It was a great lesson!
Now, I can’t neglect the comments in my notes about too many “um”’s and slouching, nor the few instances where I could have had a better transition or I didn’t quite catch the girl chatting with her neighbor. These provided valuable insights on how I can improve my instruction. Yet, overall, this honest self-reflection confirmed what I’d hoped to see and what my administrator evaluations tried to communicate – I’m doing well. My reflection is what I’d hoped. (Good thing I looked, huh?)