The Power of Video

Watching ourselves teach on video can definitely raise anxiety levels! There may not be a strategy for improving as a teacher that requires more vulnerability and trust. Bring up micro-teaching to a group of teachers and many may not know what it is. Explain it and you may see eyes rolling or bodies cringing. It can be scary for those who’ve never experienced it. It can be a game-changer for those who have.

The purpose of this post isn’t to explain micro-teaching or all of its potential benefits. The purpose of this post is to hopefully generate enough intrigue to learn more about it and hopefully give it a try.

Before I truly understood the research behind micro-teaching, I used a similar approach with my basketball teams. Many sports coaches often do. It was one thing for me to tell the team (over and over) the importance of staying in a proper weakside defensive position or blocking out every shot. I grew frustrated when I felt like I was just a broken record playing for deaf ears. The quality of feedback I was able to provide drastically improved when the team was able to observe themselves by watching game film. They were able to see the game from an entirely new perspective and gain a deeper understanding of how to better play the game of basketball. The “aha!” moments during film time were critical to our state championship season.

Micro-teaching is one of the most impactful strategies teachers can employ as far as raising student achievement. According to John Hattie’s Visible Learning Research, it has an effect size of 0.88. This means that students of teachers who utilize this strategy can experience growth of more than two years in one year’s time. This impact alone makes it a strategy all educators should consider utilizing!

Just as watching game film with a basketball team can help athletes gain a deeper understanding of ways they can more positively impact the outcome of a game, teachers can watch their “game film” to better understand how they can have a greater impact on student learning. 

Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey wrote a brief article for ASCD explaining micro-teaching. I encourage you to read it to learn more about how to effectively utilize this amazing strategy.  Show & Tell: A Video Column / The Micro-Teaching Advantage

Doug Dunn is superintendent and principal of a small K-8 school in rural, south central Missouri. He can be found on Twitter at DougDunnEdS.