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Top 3 Classroom Tools in the New Normal

Hey there and welcome back to the sustainable teacher podcast where we talk about all things that help teachers build sustainable classrooms so they can stay there longer. And as we are approaching the new normal we’ve got to talk about technology.  In fact I almost named this episode are you technology fatigued yet. Ha!  

But instead of being funny I wanted to be sure that you knew exactly what you’re getting from this episode and that we will be discussing three tools that I believe you absolutely have to use inside of your classroom when the new normal is here.

And after listening to this episode you will have a full grasp on the few powerful tools you want to have in your classroom as we approach what will be the new normal education so that you can rest in knowing what consistently works and not be bogged down by all the technology options.

So let’s do this.

Flipped Videos

Most of the time when teachers hear about the flipped classroom the main...

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A Teacher's Flipped Classroom Transformation - Part 1

I can't wait to share this with you!  Recently, I interviewed Keri Tafuro who demonstrated how flipping her classroom has transformed the teaching  experience and the learning  experience of her students, both within the pandemic and regardless of it.

On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Keri Tafuro, a full time classroom teacher of  7th and 8th grade math  in Vacaville, California.  Keri isi a 22-year teacher, having  taught math  at the  high school, and now middle school level.  She and her husband  have two college-aged children, and mine and Keri’s paths crossed about a year ago when Keri was exploring a bit more about the flipped classroom, and came upon one of my Facebook live trainings.

Since then she has jumped in with two feet taking Flipped Classroom Formula last summer and into flipping her classroom this school year.  I can’t wait to bring her...

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*BONUS* The Number ONE Question I Get Asked About the Flipped Classroom

What happens when students don’t watch the video notes for homework?  That’s the number one question I get from teachers when they are considering flipping their classroom, and it’s a good one.

You should absolutely be asking this question because it means you are aware of an obstacle to your students learning, and now you can take steps to be sure you’re helping them overcome it.  We have an entire module dedicated to this inside of my online course for teachers, Flipped Classroom Formula, and we address multiple obstacles, not just this one big one.

In today’s episode we are going to answer this question so that after listening you will feel hopeful and empowered by the possibilities of flipped video knowing that you’re making learning NOT optional in your classroom and in fact setting up your students for success.

Let’s get to it.

Learning is Not Optional

Here’s the gist of this entire episode in one sentence.  You...

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Isn't Flipping Just More Work?

Isn’t flipping your classroom just more work?  That’s the question, isn’t it?  And it should be the question for all teachers when deciding what changes to make to their classrooms, especially coming off of one of the hardest years in education ever.  And the question is really asking, is the work I put in going to be worth it?

Because here’s the truth, it’s not that flipping your classroom is more work… it’s that your classroom is work.  Your students are work.  So it’s a matter of knowing where you’re putting in time and effort and how it’s going to pay off, and this episode is all about helping your teacher work pay off for you and your students.

Let’s get to it.

Before we really dive into this episode I want you to remember episode 16, the Biggest Secret to Sustainability in Your Classroom, and if you haven’t yet, go back and listen to it because in that episode we talk about the...

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How to Know If Flipping is Right for You

As soon as I share about my teaching experience or any teachers share about their current classroom, other teachers may relate to many  similarities in our experiences, but others are able to quickly point out the differences. 

So if I say this:

I taught at a suburban, predominantly white high school with students from all levels of socioeconomic status, teaching 10th grade American History, AP Psychology, and Sociology..

Then other teachers can say, well that’s not my classroom.  I’m elementary or my school was more diverse or I teach ELA, math, science, fine arts, performing arts, health and PE etc.

It’s easy to find the differences in what we do as teachers.

And I must say… isn’t that so beautiful.

In today’s episode I want to highlight not just the differences in all our teaching experiences and classrooms, but more so your individual and incredibly unique classroom.  What you teach, how you teach it, where you teach it,...

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The Number One Tool Your Classroom Needs Right Now

Hey there and welcome to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast/Blog about the number one tool your classroom needs right now. 

We are in a time of transition in education as we head back to normal or at least to some sort of new normal.  You are probably right in the middle of the teacher-hustle, and you’re reflecting on the changes you want to make to your daily teaching life so that it’s a bit more sustainable, am I right?

Either way, the tool that I’m going to tell you about today is one that’s going to help you take practical steps towards a more sustainable and effective classroom in the modern times of education.  It’s going to help you take steps towards more evenings focused on your family and less weekends spent grading papers, all while maintaining or even increasing your effectiveness in the classroom.

Want to know what the number one tool is?

It’s the Flipped Classroom Starter Kit I’ve built to help you do ...

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The Biggest Secret to Sustainability in the Classroom

 What is the Biggest Secret to Sustainability in the Classroom?  Teachers do some of the most impactful and important work, and keeping them in the classroom is our top priority here on the podcast and for team Teach On A Mission, and we work to do that by helping teachers build sustainable systems and practices in their classrooms.

Sometimes it’s hard to have these conversations about doing things that sustain teachers because it feels guilty to focus so much on the adult in the room rather than the students.  That narrative, along with the status quo of teacher hustle equating to effectiveness, is what’s ultimately driving teachers away from the classroom.

Could we overdo it by focusing too much on the teacher and not enough on the students?  Of course we could - there are two ends of extreme to every choice, and I choose to live somewhere comfortably in the middle as much as possible, including when it comes to building an effective...

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5 Things Everyone Should Know About the Flipped Classroom

There are only a few reasons why you may be reading this blog (or listening to this week's episode on the podcast) right now.  You’ve heard of the flipped classroom and want to know a bit more.  Or you feel like you’ve been flipping your classroom since the pandemic started and now you’re wondering how that translates as we enter our new normal.  Or you know the new normal we’re heading toward can’t be the normal that was, and yet you’re not sure what it will look like, or more importantly what you want it to look like.  All you know is, there has to be a better way to go about being accessible, flexible, and effective without you being the martyr that sacrifices your personal life and well being to do so.

I’m going out on a limb here to say that although there is no silver bullet in education to solve all our daily teaching life problems, flipping the classroom is absolutely the answer for most teachers to be...

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The "New Normal" in Education

If I sit still and quietly for a moment…. More than ever, at least in my own life, I can almost physically feel the currents of change in education.  We could spend time labeling that change good or bad, but it’s happening with our without us due to circumstances and powers we can not control.

Have you heard the phrase “A rising tide lifts all boats?”  It’s an aphorism tied to economic policy, but one that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately in the educational realm.

What if we looked at the shifts that are happening in education and our approach to the new normal as a chance to be the tide?  We as individuals, seize this moment to say I’m going to shift and I am going to take advantage of this opportunity to show folks the possibilities here.  What if?

I’ve got three takeaways for you today, and after reading this blog, teachers will feel empowered to face the inevitable changes in education, knowing...

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I Bet You'd Never Guess These Numbers

It’s 2011, and I’ve just finished my first year of teaching when over the summer I hop on the little portal that will show me how well I did.  I taught an AP® course, among other courses, which for those of you who don’t know stands for Advanced Placement® and is a nation-wide curriculum and testing program run by CollegeBoard.  At the end of every year, students take a test on the entire course’s material and can earn college credit - it’s a big deal for many students and certainly for the adults who teach them.

The test is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with all public universities accepting a 3 for the equivalent of one college course in the field they tested.  Then at private universities students can earn even more credit with higher scores.

Welp, I hopped on that portal and saw that my average student score was a 3.1.  Not bad for a 22 year old teaching AP® Psychology for the first time and only ever having taken a...

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