"A Part Of Me: Teaching During A Global Pandemic"

Client

Embody Media

Role

  • Full production & editing

Background

  • The COVID-19 pandemic brought education to a halt in Spring 2020, forcing teachers to reinvent how they teach their classes virtually in less than 2 weeks. In the fall, many schools administered hybrid instruction giving parents the option to send their kids to school or to stay home and learn virtually. This hybrid instruction brought its own set of challenges for teachers.
  • 2020 brought a year of life-altering change to the new normal, growing division, and the spread of misinformation. Discourse on any topic related to the COVID-19 pandemic were tense, including teaching. While facing amplified criticism, teachers universally have had to work longer hours to adapt to hybrid instruction and staying connected with their students.

Goals

  • Cultivate a feeling of appreciation for teachers, especially during this challenging time.
  • Illustrate that teachers hold a personal commitment not just to their job, but to their students and what they sacrifice to fulfill that commitment for the success of their students.

Obstacles

  • A generally limited knowledge of the duties involved in being a teacher and the amount of work entailed.
  • What a day-to-day class looks like in the pandemic is unknown to most. Creating further distance from the situation and increasing dissonance in conversation surrounding education.

Hypothesis

  • Provide commentary on a larger issue by honing in on one case.
  • Express that teachers don't view their students as students, but rather as their own kids they care for on a deeper level.
  • Show that high schoolers have a heightened need for support systems outside of the home due to increasing depression/anxiety rates, which have gotten worse during COVID.
  • Depict teacher's emotional toll of losing connection with their student-kids and the consequences of working 60-65 hours per week to adapt to COVID teaching. Highlight how teachers have had to expend parts of their own lives (personal time, time with birth kids) to keep up.
  • Provide a secondary viewpoint from an administrator on the larger impact of pandemic education causing top-tier teachers to exit the profession

About this Project

  • Ms. Queen is an AP Calculus and Statistics teacher at Leander High School in Leander, TX. She's been teaching for 31 years and taught me my senior year. I knew how much she cared for her students and how she was sn open, genuine, and good communicator, making her the perfect subject for a mini-doc.
  • I purposely decided to keep the soundscape and cinematography of the film minimal and the pacing composed so the audience is forced to with the pure emotions of care, exhaustion, and love Ms. Queen was so authentically expressing.
  • The pre-production of this film was 3 days, shot in 2, and approximately 10 work days of editing.
  • While there is no brand attached to this film, the approach to the project is unchanged. Embody Media starts with identifying the goal and obstacles which informs a hypothesis of the narrative to produce that accomplishes these. Every decision from subject selection, story organization, medium format, interview focus, pacing, soundscape, cinematography, etc. is rooted in these goals and overcoming these obstacles in pursuit of constructing a narrative that connects with the viewer on a deeper emotional level.