I teach filmmaking Friday mornings at Augustine Christian Academy in Tulsa.

Last semester, we studied the films and filmmaking process of Alfred Hitchcock.

During the course,  the students participated in several assignments, where they had to write, film, and edit their scenes in the Hitchcockian vein. In class, it is easy to see the implementation of certain methods, grade them, and then explore how the outcome is a product of the method. If the outcome is bad, the method is bad. Change the method, change the outcome.

However, the best part of the classroom is that the worst criticism will come from the teacher. Sure, students can be condescending and belittling, but the affirmation or correction of a teacher is paramount to a student’s performance in the classroom.

It is a firm philosophy of mine that I’m not just relaying information to the students. Additionally, I’m not just teaching how to pass a test. I strive to teach my students practical life skills that will not only benefit them in the real world as well.

That’s why I’m really nervous to watch one of my students shoot a short film he wrote on his own; he’s put together the filmmaking crew; he auditioned the actors; he scouted location; he’s storyboarded the whole film; I’m really proud of him and this is why I’m nervous:

I’m watching my teaching  practiced outside of the classroom. In real life. I’m accountable for how this student now views the filmmaking process.

I hope I did a good job teaching.

By watching his process, I will be confronted with myself – and I’m curious to see how I look.


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