Classroom Management and Logistics
Posted by: San Francisco Film Society
Categories: For Classroom Teachers
Tips for Classroom Teachers Working with Teaching Artists
• Help filmmaker instructors to become a part of your classroom culture—make sure that you share any helpful advice from your own experience with your students (i.e. is there a signal for everyone being quiet in the classroom? Are there daily quizzes that can/should be incorporated?)
• Make sure that filmmaker instructors know what technology you have in your classroom and how to use it. They may not know that you have a smartboard or video cameras hidden away in the cupboard!
• Allow the filmmaker instructor to develop his/her own rapport with students. While your presence is essential to their learning, they also have an opportunity to learn in a different manner from a filmmaker. The filmmaker will need to build trust and earn respect from the class as well. Let them!
• Check for understanding. Filmmakers know how to deliver specialized instruction, but the classroom teacher is in charge of making sure that the learning is integrated into the existing work taking place in the classroom. Make sure you are connecting the filmmaking instruction to work students are already engaged in within your classroom.
• Make the most of your guest’s time. Work with your filmmaker instructor to determine which activities students can do in their own time. For example, can students create storyboards as a homework assignment? The more prepared and engaged students are with the filmmaking process, the more ready they will be to host a guest, and the more time you will be able to spend making films.
• Although there is another instructor in the classroom, it takes both educators to make the program run effectively. Classroom teachers should always play a role during collaborative projects and, ultimately, should be acquiring valuable media skills through the collaboration. Programs that are co-taught should capitalize on the different skill sets that each educator brings to the table. So be sure you have a continuous role in the filmmaking project and throughout the course of the program. Check with your filmmaker instructor to see how you can help. And, of course, as the classroom teacher, you will always be the best resource for managing your students.
• Be a learner. Are there skills you’d like to acquire? Lessons you’d like to replicate with other classes? Actively engaging in the work done through the collaboration should also be considered professional development. The more you engage with your filmmaker instructor and the technology used, the more tools you’ll have under your belt.
• Make sure to keep records of work (storyboards, writing samples, etc.), especially anything done outside of program hours. You can share these lessons in the Lesson Exchange on this site, and make your insights available to other programs in development. If you want to repeat some of the lessons with subsequent classes, you will want to have your materials organized for future use.