Video Week or Video Hell?

@TeacherToolkitIn 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the ‘most followed teacher on social media in the UK’. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain’ by The Sunday… Read more about @TeacherToolkitWhat are your views on ‘video week’?There is an end of term tradition being challenged in schools; where classrooms may have once been filled with end of term fun, they are being replaced with ‘business as usual’ to help minimise disruption and keep ‘student progress’ working to the optimum.So, here I pose a conundrum to you in your classroom and to you working in your school.To Video or Not To Video? Videos Do you remember watching video after video in lessons as a child in school?I do.Do you remember moving from lesson to lesson in the last week of term, watching video after video?I do.Have you ever observed students bringing in their favourite DVD to school? Only to ask;“Sir/Miss, can we watch Spiderman 3?”And then tell you the exact point in the movie timeline, the exact second from when they last stopped the film in period 1?I have.Have you heard students complain;“Sir, what’s the point of coming into school, if all we are going to do is watch videos?”I have.As a teacher, as a head of department and as a senior leader, you may recognise ‘video week’ as common-place practice. In some schools, there is likely to be an influx of YouTube clips, films and documentaries in the last week of term. Of course, course such as drama, media, English and others may require curriculum content to be shown in lessons. I accept this and you will too. This blog is about blockbuster movies being shown in lesson after lesson just for the sake of it.Image: Shutterstock So, why do teachers default to ‘video mode’ in the last week of term?  Why do it or why remove it? What do you think?Here are some suggestions and please do add your own views in the comments below.For?End of term reward for students’ hard workOpportunity for content to support the curriculumLearn information far beyond the realms of the classroom, or by teacher aloneReduce stress upon staff to deliver lesson plans up until the last hour of termGive students the time to relax and recuperate; well-being etcand more …Against?A break in routine contributes to low level behaviourCurriculum time is sacrificedStudents become bored with subjects and associate video content to subjectTime throughout the day is wasted; why should students come to school to watch videos all day?Colleagues become frustrated when they are undermined.School expectations are not metParents become frustratedand more …Decisions:Would you show videos in your classroom as a teacher?What would your views be as a head of department, if video content was displayed in your department, all day, every lesson. For 5 school days?And what would be your view as a head of year? If content in lessons led to a break in routine = poor behaviour = and avoidable workload and exclusions.As a parent? How would you feel if targets and learning was needed, yet your child was watching videos all week? Would you be bothered?As a student? How would you feel if – after the initial excitement – faced a week of videos in all of your lessons?As a school leader? Seeing the break in routine was needed, but perhaps undermined the staff and students who wanted to work; to meet coursework deadlines; exam revision and meet curriculum plans? And/Or/If the lack of rigour in lessons led to a ‘holiday-feel’ about school which gradually led to poor classroom, corridor and playground behaviour?Students have enough opportunity to waste time during the holidays; to relax and watch videos on their own. Students don’t need precious curriculum time wasted.What would you do?Me? I’d throw ‘video week’ into the bin …Image: ShutterstockTT.Related

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