This Year the Stress is Not Mine

I’ve written before about how this time last year I was stressed because I’d decided to change things and was waiting for them to fall apart.

This year, though, the stress isn’t mine.

Once again we decided to have our students film two minute “television” commercials for original inventions as their final project. This process involves first screening the inventions to make sure 1) theĀ inventionsĀ aren’t just modifications of an existing product (in other words, no “These totally aren’t Google glasses” glasses or iPhone 12s) and 2) the inventions don’t already exist. For example, a couple of my students tried to use “Memory Bread” but I said they couldn’t use it because Doraemon already had some.

The students then had a chance to prepare their scripts and visual aids and polish their presentations.

This week, though, I started filming. Unlike last year, I’ve made friends with one of the computer lab teachers as they also serve as the “Keepers of the Cameras”. This means I’ve already got cameras and tripods reserved which removed a lot stress. I’ve even moved an entire class of students to make it easier to access the few open rooms we need for filming.

The new teachers are feeling the stress a bit more, as are the students as we’ve emphasized that they will fail if they don’t do a good job.

Last year several students taped their scripts to the backs of their posters. Because I didn’t have time to have them do their videos again, I let them get away with it. This year, though, because I have more time, I let them finish their commercials and then tell them they have to do it again.

Today’s only glitch was that I had students misunderstand my instructions. I told them I’d give them two takes to do their commercials. I meant that they could stop once and start again. They interpreted it to mean they could do a crap job today and get a second chance.

Once I corrected this misunderstanding, the performances suddenly improved and a couple pairs hurried back to finish.

I just relaxed and let them do their work.



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