Turn Your Camera ON!
Teaching dance during COVID 19 has been challenging. One of the biggest challenges has been getting students to turn their cameras on. At first I was adamant about students turning their cameras on. I threatened to give alternative assignments, contact parents and lower grades. All of these options I have resorted to but with a change of focus. I realized this pandemic has placed a heavy weight on all of us. When our students turn their cameras on during class they are inviting us into their homes. Some of them just aren't ready for that. I took the approach of helping them recognize their worth. Rather than focus on their lack we talked about what they are grateful for. I also started to share some of my insecurities
Our students turning on their cameras is more about them feeling confident enough to look at themselves and see an image they are proud of. Yes it is important for us as teachers to be able to see our students in order to access them and hold them responsible to being in class and completing their work. But it is more important that we recognize the weight of insecurity they are dealing with. My younger students don't have a problem turning their cameras on. They love looking at themselves. Our middle school and high students are struggling with confidence and self esteem. So I've shifted my focus to lifting them up so they feel confident enough to invite me into their homes and share a piece of themselves with me. I smile and tell them how beautiful they are because they need to hear it.