I’ve been working on a promotional video for my school’s Open House. I know we’re not alone in the importance we place upon Open House days; there’s simply no better tool for getting students and parents interested in your school. So I decided I wanted to really learn Final Cut Pro X, a deceptively complex movie editing program, to more effectively produce these little pieces.
After about two weeks, I would say i’m adequate at using the program. Not great by any stretch, but good enough to string together clips put to music. And it was a tremendous amount of work to get to that point. I was reminded of being sixteen, poring over guitar tablature or a snippet of The Stranger, trying to understand things that eluded me on virtually every level. I remembered writing my thesis, and tethering my iPad to the Smart Board for the first time. In short, it reminded me that I need to remain a learner, above anything else.
The further i get from my own education, the less effective I am in the classroom. Somewhere in the process of “mastering” FCPX, I started empathizing more emphatically with my students struggling with iMovie and even iPhoto. I took note of the video tutorials that worked and lamented the lack of clear written instructions. At times, I felt helpless just as my students do when I rush through something, or assign something for homework without adequate explanation. It happens from time to time, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to make every lesson reach every student. But I can say that the more time I spend acquiring new skills, the more adept I become at helping others do the same.