Guilford County School teachers make creative instructional videos for students

What's Right with Our Schools

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Some videos are the talk of a lot of students and parents in Guilford County Schools.

They were created to give teachers a little more time to prepare when the start date for instruction moved up.

“Teachers only had two work days, and we knew that there was no way teachers were going to be ready to go…as good as we wanted them to be on day one,” Dr. Jamie King said.

So the system worked with a production company and had a few teachers record lessons that all teachers throughout the district could use.

“K-8 have five recorded lessons a day that vary between English, math, science, social studies. And then we also embedded SEL,”King said. “So social, emotional learning, guidance, counseling library, media services, global languages arts…they had everything. And then in 9-12, they just have any required classes for graduation because high school can get so vast in the number of lessons.”

That amounted to more than 700 in all.

He says what surprised them the most was how well each teacher’s personality really came out in the recorded instruction.

One of those teachers was Phamalae Cummings, who is an instructional coach at Falkener Elementary.

She said she really had fun making the videos. 

“I think it takes engagement, especially at this level. In this age group, it takes a liveliness regardless of whether you’re in person or whether you’re remote,” Cummings said. “I think it’s very important to grab their intention attention because you’re trying to teach them something. And I remember what it was like to have a teacher that just bored me to death. So I try not to do that.”

The response from parents and students has been great.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from parents has been, ‘wow, this is different. My child’s learning and they’re not just learning, but they’re loving it, right? Like they’re laughing,” King said. “We got a tweet last week of a parent who tweeted out that she stopped her own work and her own conference call to go watch this video because her son was enjoying it so much.”

And they know when kids are engaged and paying attention, they are learning.

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