Modern Fears

I am forty-something and I am afraid of being bullied.

Yesterday, for the first time, I recorded a video of myself explaining something for my students. It took HOURS and is about 2 minutes long. I tried to post it to our internal, school website, but it is too large. I need to post it to YouTube and I am scared. I found myself almost shaking scared with a bit of tears sprinkled in yesterday. I will dissect this whole event for you šŸ™‚

What is the video? Each year in class, I take the students outside on a sunny day and we model the phases of the moon. It is a simple exercise with huge “Ooohhhh”s. Students stand in a sunny area with no shade and raise their arm in front of them and make a fist. The fist represents the moon, the person’s head is the Earth, and the sun is the sun. As long as the fist is high enough to not be shaded by the Earth (head), then you can see the phases of the moon move across the fist as you rotate on an axis (i.e. spin slowly in place always keeping the fist in the same relative position to your face). If you have never done this, try it! It’s fun and you might learn something.

Of course this activity is difficult to explain on paper, as you have just experienced. So, I decided to make a video of me doing the activity while explaining it. This should not have taken hours, but these things happen. Take 1: my camera man decided to film all of me (sweatpants included) when I was expecting only the top half be filmed. I didn’t realize the blunder until I was ready to edit. Take 2: After changing, I decided to film myself and was able to hold the phone, do the activity, switch camera back and forth from my face to my hand, and get all the words I needed to say out. Unfortunately, at the end, I pushed the wrong button and instead of stopping the filming, it deleted the whole thing. Take 3: Similar to Take 2 however I forgot to press record from the beginning. Take 4: My new camera man filmed me and I settled for whatever I could get.

Fast forward to the fear. Knowing I now have to post this to YouTube (and yes, I will make sure it is private and secure), I am afraid. I work with really great students, but I also see what happens to others in this field. I am so afraid a frame of the film will be captured and made into a meme. I don’t want to be the punchline for a joke. I don’t want kids to choose a still frame image that embarrasses me. I don’t want to be bullied. And frankly, we see bullies all the time in this digital age. I am forty-something and I am afraid of being bullied. How ridiculous is that?! But, it is true.

So, what will I do? I will share this fear with all of you, then I will face it. I will post my video. I will ignore my inner, paranoid voice. I will teach. And, if I find out my fears have come true, then I will be sad for those kids. And, I will teach.

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