Video as Accelerator of Reflection: Teachers Seeing Their Practice Through Their Own Eyes

David Baker, author

Cognitive CoachingSM is a gift a coach gives enabling others to have increased capacity to think about the complexities of their life. Coaching can provide a novice teacher with a lifeline. Knowing that teachers make 800-1,500 decisions daily, while balancing the social/emotional needs of a classroom of students, teaching content, and supporting student metacognition, finding time and cognitive capacity to practice professional reflection is challenging. Video has become a vital tool to support coaching conversations and professional reflection.

How does video support the person being coached?

We think we are seeing ourselves as we teach, but because of our cognitive load, we are not really seeing our current reality. Due to the cognitive load that a teacher experiences daily, video provides a third point that enhances the accuracy of the recall. Through video, I can see myself, hear myself, and see the impact of my words and actions on students. Memories of a lesson are quickly generalized. Video provides specifics of the experience without the cognitive load of teaching. When I have reduced the cognitive load of the initial experience, I have increased my capacity for reasoning. Seeing my practice through my own eyes, freed from the immediate cognitive load of teaching allows me reflect more deeply.

As a coach I observed the impact of video in action with multiple teachers. One teacher after watching a video clearly identified a goal, moving from a reflecting conversation into a problem resolving conversation because of the clarity gained from watching their video. Another teacher identified success indicators for their teaching and used video as a way to monitor progress. A third teacher watched their video prior to our coaching conversation, made adjustments, re-recorded several times and then wanted to reflect. Video enabled teachers to isolate elements of practice, and reflecting on the decisions or choices out of the 800 – 1,500 that they felt would be most impactful.

Over the following posts, I will expand the connection of video as a component of coaching and impacting different States of Mind in the coaching process.

Kauchak, D.P. & Eggen, P.D. (2005),