Review #1: Video Analysis

Linda Heidenrich
SED 600
Videotape of my teaching
First, I need to reflect on my weakness as a master’s student thus far. I did not
secure a video camera early enough in the semester to record actual teaching and by the
time I secured the video camera, the students were doing independent work and then
taking a test. This video shows my students taking a test albeit a test with a partner
requiring higher order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and application.
Components of the video that reflect good teaching is the agenda outlined on the
board showing a journal question to provide some structure and continuity to each day.
Also, on the board is the two week schedule so students know what will be expected of
them each day in my class. Posted next to the board are all the California Science
Content Standards to be referenced as we go through lessons. In addition, I provided
clear directions to my students regarding expectations for the test and examples of
vocabulary that may be difficult such as “single allele trait”. I also provided a purpose
for providing an alternative assessment rather than the usual multiple choice test for
genetics involving Punnett Square practice problems. In addition, I provided a guided
complement to one of my students, Rick, encouraging him to keep going but also
focusing his efforts.
Components of the video that are worrisome include my visible frustration with
the attitude of the students. They do not like to be challenged or do something hard even
though they are capable of being successful because we discuss the test together for
several days. The students instead choose to do nothing at all and sit in the back of the
room leaving the paper blank or draw inappropriate “creatures”. The students think I
hate my job and/or them and now I see why. I am sad that I portray that attitude to them
but I do see evidence of the frustration here, which could translate into not liking my job,
an idea which is the furthest from the truth. The reason I am frustrated is because I know
they are capable of better but they do not believe they are capable of better and I have not
been able to find a way of making them believe in themselves. I believe in them more
than they believe in themselves but I do not portray that and instead react to their
negative attitude with an overtly negative attitude myself. I also found myself ignoring
poor language or disruptive students instead of dealing with them. I see how this might
create a negative learning environment but I feel truly overwhelmed with the task of
trying to get them to use appropriate language and behavior. I have made the parent
phone calls and even had parents visit the class but the parent is often the model of the
poor language and behavior and it is a tough cycle to break. My teaching philosophy that
being a positive role model and celebrate successes, regardless of how small, will break
this cycle has to be supplemented with the reality many of my students are used to
punishment and do not respond to the idea that they are better than their current behavior.
I know my students are learning by providing them with an alternative assessment
that requires the students to think and apply that knowledge. The objective for this test
was to get the students to create a creature with traits and then use their knowledge of
genetics and genetic notation to describe those traits appropriately.
This requires
synthesis of information and application of knowledge, both higher levels of Bloom’s
taxonomy. Their tests will be the ultimate evidence of learning.