Building Trust

Video is an empowering teaching tool. To make the most of it, leaders must cultivate trust for both teachers and students so that everyone feels safe and comfortable.

Here are are some ways to build trust:

Start small. Implement video gradually, as you feel ready. Start with a pilot for volunteers, rather than making it mandatory for all.
Make it easy. Video doesn’t require complex technology. Streamline the technology ahead of time to ease its adoption in the classroom.
Be clear. How will video be used, and how often?
Empower teachers. Allow them to choose which lessons will be shown, and remind them that no lesson is perfect.
Engage teachers early. Include them in the decision-making process around video use from the outset.
Align video use with school and instructional priorities. Everyone should understand why it is being used.

Most of all, recognize time constraints.
It’s important to integrate video into existing responsibilities, processes, and time frames to avoid stress, and consider what may come off teachers' plates as you add video.

Important Trust Considerations

Consider how you can alleviate the fear of being filmed.

Raise awareness around how video aids improvement.

Address concerns over time, resources, or

Establish strategic alignment around district goals.


Building Trust

Teacher Video Selfie

Best Foot Forward Toolkit, Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University
A self-guided module to help teachers analyze videos of their own instruction.

Effects of a Video-Based Teacher Observation Program on the De-privatization of Instruction: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Best Foot Forward Toolkit, Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University
Research paper that discusses the BFF project and its findings: (1)caused administrators to broker more peer support among teachers (2)made teachers more likely to share lesson videos with colleagues (3) led teachers to have more of their lessons seen by other teachers, and redistributed which teachers were providing instructional support to colleagues. Results also suggest that video technology may be an effective tool for efforts to improve instruction by increasing peer observation and support.

Letter to Teachers: Benefits of Video Observations

Best Foot Forward Toolkit, Center for Educational Policy Research at Harvard University
A sample letter from school leaders to teachers, proposing video as an observation tool and highlighting its teacher-centered nature, along with a list of common questions and answers around privacy and video use.

A Clearer View of the Classroom

Deborah Yaffe, District Administration Magazine
An article which ties together the movement towards creating genuine teacher learning systems and the importance of video coaching as a tool to increase rigor, accountability, and growth. The article references the Best Food Forward Project, and emphasizes the importance of taking the time to build trust and buy-in to video as a professional learning tool in classrooms.

Reflection and Response Guidelines

Jill Wood and David Allen, Kansas State University
Guidelines to help teachers as they begin to analyze their own videos and identify coachable elements, which also includes potential questions that a teacher can ask themselves to better analyze and reflect on their own practice.

Giving Effective Feedback Conversation Script

Uncommon Schools
A detailed coaching script that outlines a conversation around the teacher's goals, and includes potential framing text that a coach can use to encourage teachers to become more reflective around their own instruction.

Video Study Group Sample Meeting Agenda

SAAL Continua, West Ed
A sample meeting agenda for a teacher-led video study group, oriented around providing feedback around a teacher's personally identified learning goals, with supportive strategies peers can employ to keep conversations centered around the areas of growth.

Get Better Faster Scope and Sequence

Uncommon Schools
A 90-day professional development framework, detailing strategies to improve both instructional rigor and management, as well as how to effectively build upon previous skills and understandings.

Dealing with Distractions While Using Video Models

Emily Doyle, Teachstone
Helpful tips for how to move through a coaching session while staying focused on the learning objective, such as basic strategies around how to keep the conversation productive, without falling into common pitfalls.

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