~ Teaching Demystified, ‘Twas a Good Idea

Do you have an idea you know is great, but for whatever reason, just haven’t gotten it off the ground yet?

I do…

I may have mentioned once or twice that I used to be a classroom teacher. 😉 Those were the days when I would make whiteboard instructional videos so my students could learn this or that at home, and then be ready to talk about it the next day. The fancy name for learning at home to prepare for class is “Flipped Classroom,” and my students enjoyed it, so I ended up making a small collection of videos.

Well, about 9 months after I left teaching, one of those videos – a math video – dramatically increased in viewership.

I was astounded and humbled. Here was a video I had created for my little class and it went from maybe fifty views to well over 250 in less than a year. This may not seem like a lot when compared to the greats on YouTube and Vimeo, but to me it was wonderful. If an individual teacher showed it to a class, resulting in one view for my video, that was actually 25 (or more) students who were watching and learning from it. This bite-sized success prompted me to develop a web video series, Teaching Demystified, where I would walk new teachers through some of the common phases and pitfalls of the first year of teaching.

It’s a good idea, no?

Realizing the Concept

I pondered and reflected on how I would present the material and if it was viable for the series to even happen. I wanted it to be helpful and realistic as new teachers suffer some pretty big doses of reality that first year, but I also wanted to take that seriousness and put a humorous spin on it using some of the risible situations that new teachers find themselves in (but don’t realize until later how funny those situations actually are). I had so much to learn, from building a green screen to adding animated characters to my model classroom.

After nearly six months of intense planning, research, and troubleshooting, I was finally close to having all of the pieces to the puzzle. I was ready to get started, but that’s when everything stopped. It’s hard to admit, but with work, animation projects, and developing this new series, I ended up overwhelming myself a bit and needed a break. I reluctantly hung up my Teaching Demystified idea for awhile so that I could get some much needed rest and clear up a little section of my plate so I could move forward in the 3d art realm.

If I could live in Centurian time, I would, and I think I’d be able to bring a lot more of my ideas to fruition! Go MIB!

Where Things Stand Now

It’s been about eight months, and when reconsidering this project – though I’ll never say it won’t still happen – I’ve reluctantly come to terms with the fact that it just might be too big for one person to carry. Sure, I had lookers-on, but that isn’t quite the same. I’m going to keep my chin up, though, because at anytime I could hook up with a great crew of motley teachers (or some other outgoing video-friendly folks) eager to come together to mentor new teachers through humor, animation, and YouTube.

Alas, if only ’tweren’t so hard letting a good idea go for now!

In a moment of reminiscing, I took a quick visit to those old videos. I learned that my math video is closing in on 5,000 views. It honestly feels good to know that students are still learning from it.

A Little Share

Just for kicks (and as a token of my gratitude for reading this far), the concept intro for the first episode of Teaching Demystified is posted below (that yellow background later changed to a green screen and I eventually decided that it would look better if I were talking to the camera instead of to some off-screen point in space). Under the concept video, I posted a few bloopers/outtakes from my lighting and presentation experimentations. By the end of the second video, the live action portion was pretty close to worked out…minus my goofiness…well, maybe with some goofiness.

😀

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