As a Title VI LRC, the Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research has among its priorities the retention and support of language educators in the k-16 continuum. Highlighted in the national research on the matter, as well as time working one-on-one with teachers, language teachers leave the profession because they feel isolated, unsupported, and overwhelmed. In order to address the affective needs of educators everywhere, CULTR is starting a video project inspired by StoryCorps to collect the stories of teachers in the language education field. By offering a space in which to tell their “story,” we want to create a kind of community that will offer support to all language teachers.
Entitled T.H.R.I.V.E., this video project represents the Tales of Habits (for) Retention, Inspiration, Vision and Enrichment. Through videos that are 2 minutes or less, CULTR wants to hear your story. Why did you become a language teacher and what continues to offer inspiration? What are the biggest obstacles to achieving success and how did you overcome them? What would you have liked to know starting out? With a click of a button, every teacher can record a video message and join a growing national network of language educators focused on helping their peers.
Educators Helping Other Educators
As shown below, THRIVE provides a platform for all language educators to share their experiences. Savvy veterans with decades of experience and wide-eyed newcomers just out of school each offer valuable understandings of what it means to be language teacher. Join other educators like Rebecca Blouwolff, the 2020 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, to share your story today!
Ready to Get Started?
Ready to submit your video? Please complete the form below.
Four Steps to Completion
Choose your message prompt, introduce yourself, and incorporate best video practices to quickly create an amazing video. Please read below for additional information on these areas and watch Meredith White’s video submission for inspiration!
To effectively deliver your message, preparation should also focus on the sound quality, lighting, and background. These principles will go a long way in establishing a strong and focused presentation. While CULTR can help with video editing, a well-prepared and practiced presenter will always look best. With your audience in mind, please follow the guidelines below in your video.
Special notes for a phone recording:
- Record in horizontal video
- Keep phone stabilized throughout recording.
- Try to be centered in the frame.
Working with these concise videos, paying attention to the sound quality is essential to achieve a successful production. Please emphasize the following points during your video.
- Experiment with your microphone and settings for a clear sound.
- Feel free to use a microphone outside of your computer’s mic. An external microphone or headphones that have built-in mic may offer a better option during recording. Investigating these options will help with your finished product.
- Make sure background noises are minimized. Additional sounds beyond the speaker’s voice may distract the audience.
- Choose a room and time where background noise from family, pets, and outside are absent or discreet.
Lighting doesn’t need to be complicated, but it needs to be addressed in any video. Since most of these videos will be created using webcams, lighting will make even a low-quality camera produce a much better look.
- One best practice is to have an indirect light source. To keep distraction at a minimum while presenting, it is helpful to have a lighting source in front of you with a reflector or something over it to not simply have a direct beam of light on you at all times.
Before recording from your camera, remember to check what is located in the background. Vibrant works of art, personal mementos, or open windows will detract from your message. To help the audience focus on you and not your surroundings, make sure there is nothing to distract the eye. Oftentimes, a solid wall will offer the ideal solution.