Talking Heads


We are all getting (or going to get) used to seeing ourselves on camera or finding ways to avoid seeing ourselves on camera. We record our lessons and read alouds, log in to Meet or Zoom for virtual meetings, and even video chat with people we would normally share space with.

All the while, we (I imagine I am not alone) are transported back to our younger selves.

For me, it was pushing two buttons – play AND record – on the old, one-speaker black cassette player. The red light came on and I sang or talked or read. Then, I’d run it back to listen to myself, like I would Cyndi Lauper or Janet Jackson.

But unlike listening to Cyndi and Janet, I would not like what I heard. I would not recognize that voice that was coming from outside of me. “Is that what I really sound like?” I’d wonder.

But it wouldn’t stop me. I kept doing it, the unfamiliarity taking a back seat to my dreams of becoming a Cyndi or a Janet someday.

And, if I were (more than) a little bit younger, I would have likely used video in the same way I used my bedroom mirror: watching myself rehearse moves fit for a music video or a rock concert. “Is that what I really look like?” I’m sure I would have wondered if I had had the chance to record myself.

And I would have done it anyway.

Yes, in the coming days, we will hear ourselves and see ourselves in ways that only we can, as outsiders. We will hesitate to make these moments public and will be slow to show our faces and share our voices.

Do it anyway.

Know that everyone else – from student to colleague to family – is just glad to see you. And they need to… to see your face, to hear your voice. It’s how we will get through.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. dandre3 says:

    using Zoom for meetings and video recording lessons will take some getting use to, but it will help us connect in our newly unconnected world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a strange feeling! I can never quite get the book in the right place when reading aloud!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yup, it’s so weird that we don’t recognize our recorded voices, but you are right. Our students and colleagues need to see and hear us. All the best navigating remote teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the ‘just do it’ advice. I find that I have had more success than failure when I have stepped into the arena. Kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mrssurridge says:

    My school is using Google Meet, which I like because I can keep myself in a small square in the corner. For my lessons, I’ve been using educreations. I have had to get used to my voice, but I don’t have to look at myself through the whole thing. We are certainly not the selfie generation!


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