Talking Teaching: Aimée Skidmore (Video)

The Talking Teaching video series and podcast is a series of conversations between Karl Millsom and other educators from around the world.

In the first episode of Talking Teaching, Karl spoke with Aimée Skidmore.

Aimée is an educator with over 23 years of teaching and leadership experience in both public and private secondary schools in Switzerland and the U.S. During the Covid19 pandemic and the resulting move to teaching online, Aimée developed a new approach to self reflection for her and her students.

Here is Aimée on her new reflective practice...

The daily reflection videos I made while I was teaching online during Covid really were a gift that kept on giving. They helped me to improve my teaching more quickly than ever before. The turnaround time was quick, as it had to be in the everchanging environment we were experiencing. I tried my best to stick to the P.I.E. process—PLAN, IMPLEMENT, EVALUATE—so that I was not just ‘hitting and hoping’ with my lessons. However, I had to do it in a way that suited my busy teacher pace!

That meant planning intentionally for what I wanted students to learn and how I was going to assess them on the skills. After that, I rolled out the lesson. I was really interested in making sure I did this differently during digital learning, according to what research was telling me about effective online learning.

Next, I collected data from formative assessments, student polls and surveys, and engagement reports generated by our Learning Management System, itslearning. That really helped me to identify areas that needed evaluation and adjustment. If I wanted even faster feedback, I would just invite some students to a live call and chat with them about how they felt the activity or assignment went and any suggestions they had. In this way, reflection served both the purpose of adjusting my practice with the added benefit of building and maintaining relationships with my students.

In addition, as I didn’t always have an immediate opportunity to process my findings with colleagues like I usually do in face-to-face school, I turned to recording my thoughts on my phone and then rewatching them or posting them on social media. By making the reflections public, I was able to receive feedback from colleagues and hold myself accountable for my performance. Also, I have made so many new professional connections who have brought me loads of innovative ideas and opportunities to improve my teaching and affect change in the field of education.

In the end, it really was a powerful gift that I gave myself, and it has paid off well beyond the lockdown. Hopefully, I can continue this practice into the upcoming school year, perhaps at a less-frenetic pace.

You can watch the full conversation below. Please don't forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE on Youtube if you find it interesting.

If you prefer an audio only version, you can subscribe to the podcast here.

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