Know When to Walk Away and Know When to RUN!

Teachers are pretty tough cookies.  Kids might try to pull the wool over our eyes, but we know their tricks.  Misbehavior doesn't scare us, but there are two words that scare a teacher more than any:

Nothing makes a deathly ill teacher feel well enough to trek into work like those words, and taking personal leave better be for a REALLY good vacation!  Two years ago, I was invited to be trained in art education.  I was stoked because I am a huge advocate of the arts in our school system.  It was totally paid for by our district and a partnership grant with the local university.  I was going with two other rockstar teachers from my school.  Buuuut there was a catch.  I had to miss 10 days of school over the course of the year for trainings.  10 days of sub plans normally means 10 days of lost instruction.  Holy Hannah.  Talk about scary!
My kids that year could not afford 10 days of lost instruction in math.  I had a great sub (the same one for all 10 days!), but she wasn't trained in common core math.  I remembered reading Ron Clark's book where he shared an idea: make a video of yourself teaching for the kids!  I thought I'd give it a try. Worst case, it totally doesn't work, but I really hadn't lost anything by trying, right?
I had purchased an app called Explain Everything where I could write while I recorded my voice.  I recorded a sample problem, then asked the students to complete a problem with each other and then I walked them through the solution, and then a final problem that they were asked to solve on their own.  The sub was supposed to make sure the students were working and checking in on their work.  I would ask students questions in the video, and the sub was supposed to pause the video while they answered.  The first time they were totally freaked out!  Ha!  But, I asked the sub to write down if the student had been working when their name was called and I gave them participation points. 
While I wouldn't recommend teaching every lesson every day like this, it sure saved me some days.  Students still had "me" there to help them through, and then I could just do a little bit of reteaching instead of a whole day of reteaching when I returned. 
You can check out one of my videos below or follow me on YouTube by clicking the icon on the upper right of my blog!

This post was written purely because I love the app.  I have not received any compensation or promotion or contact from the app's developers or it's affiliates. :)

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