Monday, June 30, 2014

What Would You Have Done?

What Would You Do?

If you were confronted by a team of camera men, producers, directors, and light and sound technicians outside your classroom door one day as you reported for work, saw all of their equipment attached to cables snaking through your classroom and out the door, what would you do? Would you want to be their “star?”

View Outside My Adult Education Classroom

We had been told that a film crew was going to be at our site, and that they would be popping into various classrooms to film teaching in progress. No biggie, as we were all used to impromptu evaluations, and had been visited and photographed by District personnel at various times in our careers.

One of the Many Equipment Tables

So I was surprised when I arrived at work this day to find the film crew parked outside, inside, and in the doorway of my Adult Education classroom. I was even more surprised to be asked if I would like to follow their script and “teach” while they filmed me, or would I prefer that they use their own “actor?”

Setting Up Equipment

I had only started teaching Adult Education classes three weeks previous to this question. The video they were going to film would be shown to the entire state at conferences as an example of “best practices” in an Adult Education setting. I hadn’t even attended a single in-service training for this job yet, and I was one of the two newest staff members on the team. I also suspected that the reason they chose me was due to the fact that I had the largest room, not because they thought I was an expert on teaching adults.

Beginning to Feel Out of My Depth

Feeling out of my depth, I politely declined. Then I sat at my computer working on a PowerPoint for my class while the film crew spent the next three-and-a-half hours in my classroom. They ended up asking two of the other experienced teachers on staff to be their “actors.” Both were asked to repeat the same lines over and over again while the crew filmed from various angles.

The "Bright Lights"

Afterward, our principal provided pizza and beverages for all, while the film crew conducted personal interviews with many members of my class. I ended up teaching a handful of my students (without the film crew) for only about 15-20 minutes that day. It was a very strange day.

What about you? Would you have accepted or declined the invitation to be a “star” in these circumstances? Would you have basked in the limelight, or run screaming down the hall (as I was tempted to do)? I would love to hear what you have to say.

Until then,

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