For the past month and a bit, I have been running a TV/Video Production Club at school. A small group of students have been meeting together to storyboard, film, edit, and create cohesive films. Today, four of those students participated in our district’s Skills competition. And let me say, it was an amazing experience.
There’s nothing quite like giving students a whole day to just work through a problem or develop a project. They were able to get into deep work, plus they learned to manage their time and their energy. I saw my students struggle through technological challenges, but I also saw them experience pure joy when something came together. Those ups and downs are part of the creative process, and the more times we work through the process, the more familiar it gets and (hypothetically) the better we become at it.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that we need to spend more time in our schools developing skills, but this experience also made me wonder – what do we do when resources we need aren’t available? Running a club like this hinges on being able to actually practice the skills with equipment. We are fortunate that we are a middle school that exists within a high school, and that we have individuals that are kind enough to lend us some gear. In addition, some of our students have their own equipment. However, that’s not always the case. One group was editing off my personal laptop, and I found myself bringing all the extra memory cards and USB sticks that I could find at home. How can we as teachers do our part in levelling the playing field and opening up opportunity to all students who are interested? Something to ponder.