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Over the door – and several places inside – of Mr. Bermudez’s math classroom is the phrase “Learning Zone.” How appropriate for today’s appointment. We met some of his Calculus students there who were going to help us film a sketch for the hybrid Geometry course.
What did I see?
The Calculus students rehearsed and rehearsed to deliver their lines more and more smoothly. Jessica coached the students with the delivery of the academic vocab; sure, the students were a few years past Geometry, now in Calculus, but then again, they were a few years out of Geometry, and needed to brush up on their delivery. They seemed to relish it.
Through the door, under the Learning Zone sign, walked two SAHS filmmaking students. I had emailed Sofia Cuevas, the filmmaking teacher, the night before asking if she could ask for volunteers to come run cameras for the filming of the Geometry skit.
What did they do?
The filmmaking students watched, assessed, chatted, and analyzed the scene they were to film. I drew close to listen in and they shyly pulled back so that it was harder to hear their conversation. I asked, “What are you thinking?” And they walked me through the shots they thought we should get to portray the scene. I had worked with these students the year before and I noticed they had more confidence, more vocabulary, and more skill setting up the shots.
What else was different?
I noticed that whereas the year before the students would typically grab the cameras first thing and start playing with the technology, this time, they engaged in a lengthy discussion about their options and didn’t rush to get their hands on the technology. They thoroughly explored options in conversation, and by the time they picked up the cameras, they ran through the scenes, flawlessly, seamlessly, confidently.
“Camera 1, rolling. Camera 2, rolling. Sound, speeding. Action.” What did I learn in the learning zone?
Respect the learners, and give them the opportunity to work with us, and they will take care of business.