I've been thinking about this post for a while and how to go about writing it. Better yet, I've been thinking about all of the things I'd like to include in it because it's hard to put the words together to describe how the flipped classroom changed so much for me.
To me, flipping is such a simple idea. Just flip how you deliver the content with what is traditionally homework, and you've done it. But I guess that's a bit of an oxymoron to say that flipping something on its head is simple.
Truly it is simple, and so are clear results you'll see in your classroom and your students. But the process of making it happen, once I step back and think of all that goes into it, really isn't the simplest process in the world.
And that's why I want to support you on your journey of flipping your classroom. It's not an easy journey. It certainly wasn't easy for me when I took on the task on my own about nine years ago, and that's not something I want for you.
I have the data to show the learning process I went through in flipping, and how I don't want you to have to experience that learning process over a few years time... NO! I want you to have the big results in the first year. And with my help, you can.
This is the huge idea I discuss thoroughly in my webinar, 3 Behind-the-Scenes Insights to Flipping Your Classroom. As of the day this post will be published there are only two webinars left, and you do NOT want to miss it - I'll send you a professional development certificate of completion when we're finished. Click here or the image below to get registered ASAP, and I'll see you there.
So, how 'bout it? Let me take you through the story and the ways the flipped classroom impacted my life, not just my teaching career.
The way the flipped classroom changed everything for me was in the way I had impact, and how much impact I had in each of my roles as a teacher and as a mom.
Now, hindsight is 20/20, but I did NOT see these impacts coming. To be honest, I just wanted to increase student accountability in my classes and not lecture so much. But once I stopped to reflect and the pace of life really picked up, these are the ways I realized that flipping changed it all for me.
Within the first year of flipping - heck, even within the first month of publishing my videos to YouTube - I heard from teachers and students around the world about how my videos were helping them in their own studies and classrooms.
Now, let me be clear, that's not why I flipped the classroom. Like I said, I didn't even see this one coming. But it has been so cool.
Shortly after jumping into flipping my classroom, I began sharing how I did it and even training other teachers, helping them flip their own classrooms. It has taken my career to another level that I did not anticipate, but am now so grateful for. I've grown in so many ways, and each of them have come back to impact my classroom for the better, no doubt.
Has never been a strong suit of mine. I can definitely connect with and command a room like a boss, helping build that classroom-wide rapport, but I have just never been super great at connecting with students on an individual level.
To avoid a full psych-eval and diving into the depths of why I lack that ability, let's just skip the why and focus on how flipping helped :)
Flipping my classroom made it possible for me to speak to every one of my students every single day. Now, did I in fact do that every day? No, but the opportunity was there. In fact, if I was able to speak to each of them individually once per week, that's more than I was doing before I flipped.
Flipping allowed me the time and ease (sense of peace with taking the time to do so, maybe?) to have conversations with each of my students. It forced me to make better connections.
Not to mention, I wasn't so bogged down by the pressures of time, and the calendar flying by everyday, stressed out about getting through the content. I could take a deep breath knowing we were getting through the content, and still had the chance to chat and work with students individually.
Well, almost every thing. You can't really systemize relationship building, and I'll never advocate for that even if it is possible.
But in all seriousness, I quickly realized, back in my super youngin' days as a new teacher that the flipped classroom could quickly go to hell in a hand basket if it's not well organized. It's so different from what most kids are used to that any small obstacle will trip them up and ultimately cause the whole thing to come crashing down.
Enter systems (or procedures... whatever you want to call them) that allowed my classroom to run like a well-oiled machine, even on days when I had an unexpected (or expected - no shame in my game) absence. Check out a recent post on the procedures of the flipped classroom .
Now that I've flipped for almost a decade, I can see that these systems are what truly made change for me as a teacher in ways that allowed me to show up everyday. They allowed me to still have impact with my students even though I had sick kids at home. The systems allowed me to provide targeted and effective feedback without spending countless hours grading and responding to student work. The systems allowed me to build up my students, make them accountable for their own learning so that I could assume the role as a guide, and not the dictator of learning.
This last one is the biggest one. I am by nature a worker bee, a work horse, whatever you want to call what I am, and that is someone who can't rest. I can't NOT be productive. And although it's what allows me to be prolific with content, and get an insane amount of stuff done, it really does run me down. Only now do I see this more as a flaw than I do as a good feature (it really can be both). It's something I am working through and will continue to work through for the rest of my life.
Teaching amplifies this flaw I have.
Teaching is something I could never escape. So much so that it became suffocating. I was losing my creativity, my effectiveness (and my patience) with students because it didn't matter what I did or how much I worked, the to-do list was always growing.
There were always new ideas, new strategies, new documentation, new students, more to-dos.
Flipping was a fresh drink of ice-water... or maybe it was ice water in my face because I was able to wake up and realize that the rat race wasn't getting me anywhere.
And it certainly wasn't getting my students anywhere.
Flipping allowed me to be more present as a human being. Not just as a teacher, but as a human. The flipped classroom allowed me to be a more present mother and wife. It allowed me to appreciate what I used to love again (cute outfits, photography, scrapbooking, baking).
Now, do I continue to have time to do all of those things. Of course not; not always. But they are possible, now and again, because teaching isn't always on my radar.
I've got the systems, I've got the process... I just need to let it work and focus on the kids in my room who call me their teacher.
What if the flipped classroom could change everything for you? What if you could get out of the rat race and just focus on building up your students? What if you could be a more present mom, dad, wife, husband, friend, neighbor, church member, daughter, son, avid shopper, athlete, gym monkey, whatever you want?
It can happen. And I can help.
Join in me in the webinar, and check out The Flipped Classroom Formula. As of this post's publishing date, enrollment in my online course is only open for four more days. It is the implementation program where I've helped teachers, just like you, build their flipped classroom, step-by-step and start achieving these changes they've been needing for years.
Until next time,