From a teacher’s perspective

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By Amy Wallot

­You have likely seen the GoPro camera. It’s the small camera that is mountable to just about anything and is often used to photograph or record extreme sports. If you’re a fan of The Amazing Race, you can see it used on the show strapped to racers heads as they sky dive or bungee jump. I thought it would be interesting to strap one on a teacher to see what a day in the classroom looks like from her point of view.

I called Katie Decker, a 4th-grade language arts teacher at Glenn Marshall Elementary School (Madison County) and a freelance photographer. She was totally game to give it a try.

She wore the camera from the beginning of her class in the morning until shortly after lunch (which is when the batteries ran out.) The camera was set to snap a picture every 10 seconds.

In the morning, her class was writing thank you letters to the Kentucky Horse Park after recent field trip. During lunch, the 4th-grade class was eating with their 2nd-grade partners during the K-PREP testing buddies luncheon.

Her students didn’t pay much attention to the camera. They often use technology in the classroom, including a webcam to Skype with people from other countries. Decker also sometimes records her lessons so she can watch them later and make sure she is reaching all of her students and not doing anything unintentional.

When she looked at the photos after taking off the GoPro, Decker laughed at some of the results.

“The blurry photos really are a teacher’s day,” she said with a smile, referring to the constant attention required by her students.

For me, this was neat to see how the pictures would come out when I wasn’t the one directing the location of the lens. I’d like to try it again, maybe with different grade levels and subject areas. If you would like to volunteer, send me an email. And I’ll be sure to bring plenty of batteries.

Katie Decker, a 4th-grade language arts teacher at Glenn Marshall Elementary School (Madison County), sports a GoPro camera on her head to capture a day in the life of a teacher. Photo by Amy Wallot, May 9, 2014
Katie Decker, a 4th-grade language arts teacher at Glenn Marshall Elementary School (Madison County), sports a GoPro camera on her head to capture a day in the life of a teacher.
Photo by Amy Wallot, May 9, 2014
Ben Mason shares one of his memories from the Kentucky Horse Park field trip.
Ben Mason shares one of his memories from the Kentucky Horse Park field trip.
Making a list of things the students liked while visiting the Kentucky Horse Park.
Making a list of things the students liked while visiting the Kentucky Horse Park.
Having a writing conference with 4th-grade student Tra Absire.
Having a writing conference with 4th-grade student Tra Absire.
Grabbing a slice of pizza and a dessert brought in by a parent for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Grabbing a slice of pizza and a dessert brought in by a parent for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Fourth-grade student Karli Hill, left, has lunch with her 2nd-grade testing buddy, as well as 2nd-grade student Nancy Ann Webb and her brother, and testing buddy, 4th-grade student Clayton Webb.
Fourth-grade student Karli Hill, left, has lunch with her 2nd-grade testing buddy, as well as 2nd-grade student Nancy Ann Webb and her brother, and testing buddy, 4th-grade student Clayton Webb.
Enjoying lunch with 2nd-grade teacher Leslie Carr, center, and 4th-grade teacher Heather Rader, right.
Enjoying lunch with 2nd-grade teacher Leslie Carr, center, and 4th-grade teacher Heather Rader, right.
On recess patrol.
On recess patrol.
Watching students on the spider web during recess.
Watching students on the spider web during recess.
Decker created a method of documenting behavior infractions with a code for the infrantion, location and day of week. The information is used to track behavior data, negative and positive, allowing teachers to see where they need to be more specific with their behavior expectations.
Decker created a method of documenting behavior infractions with a code for the infraction, location and day of week. The information is used to track behavior data, negative and positive, allowing teachers to see where they need to be more specific with their behavior expectations.
Fourth-grade students waiting at least 10 seconds so they can have their picture made with the head-mounted camera.
Fourth-grade students waiting at least 10 seconds so they can have their picture made with the head-mounted camera.
Stopping by to talk with the 4th-grade social studies teacher Stephen Rupard. Photo by Amy Wallot, May 9, 2014
Stopping by to talk with the 4th-grade social studies teacher Stephen Rupard.

 

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