Who would have known almost a year ago that we would all have experienced such a monumental change in our lives that showed us just how important and effective having students in the classroom with us is for student engagement. Who would’ve known?
Somewhere in the middle of my second year of teaching, I vividly remember a moment when I realized, it’s got to get better quickly - meaning, I’ve got to stop engaging more and working harder than my students when it comes to understanding the content. I’m not the one taking the test and I care a whole lot more than they do. Side bar - of you course you do, you’re the teacher in the room, but feeling exhausted at the end of the day because of all your hard work just to have black screens or non-engaged students is not what’s going to keep you going in this career field.
No matter how long you’ve been teaching, this year and your experiences with distance learning have...
"I wish I had flipped my classroom a year ago."
Or, "I couldn't imagine this transition without having flipped my classroom first."
Both are statements I've heard from teachers who I've worked with to flip their classrooms.
2020 and teaching in a pandemic has certainly thrown us all for a loop. No one could have predicted it or prepared for it, but it's certainly taught us two huge lessons in the education world...
1. An accessible classroom was no longer just a nice feature, it became a necessity.
2. Building the plane while flying it is no way to teach kids or survive the experience as their teacher. It's just not sustainable.
What I would like to propose though is that flipping the classroom has given some teachers an advantage in the huge transition that has been teaching in 2020.
But, here's the thing, that fact helps no one other than those who were already flipping. So true. But I'd like to show some ways we can take the basic...
The list of lessons learned in 2020 is probably about a mountain high for most of us, and somewhere in the midst of it is all the skills and talents of managing the role of virtual teacher. It truly is no small feat, and I hope that teachers aren’t the only ones who recognize that fact.
And that’s exactly why here at Teach On A Mission we wanted to do The Virtual Teacher Series. So that we shine light on not only how tricky it all can be, but how so many teachers are rocking it (they may not describe it that way, but simply because they keep showing up, they are rocking it!).
From understanding your influence as a virtual teacher to reaching for more sustainable workflow to better systems of parent communication, we’ve touched on topics that I hope have brought value to your week and even your experience as a virtual teacher.
My hope for this week’s post is no different.
This week, in the last part of our Virtual Teacher Series, our focus is on a...
“Hours!” she said. “I spent HOURS on my Sunday afternoon grading just late work alone, and then you want to know what I had to do the rest of the week?” I could almost guess what it was, “call parents” she said, exacerbated. My teacher friend went on to explain how as it’s the end of the quarter and grades are due soon, it’s that time of the year that comes around four times per year to communicate to parents whose child is near or actually failing a course.
I squinted and turned my head to the side to lessen the blow of her answer as I asked, “how long did it take to contact parents?”
Three days after school until well past 5pm.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all been in a place where something in our teaching lives is taking up way more hours than we want it to, or than is healthy. Whether that’s because we’re new at it and haven’t developed the processes to make it...
Think back to your first year of teaching (for our first or second year teachers, just hang with me through this visualization). Remember how incredibly energized and gung-ho you were for all things teaching (not that you aren’t that now, but let’s just say you’ve got a dash more wisdom to go with your energy levels). If you were anything like me, you were a yes-man or woman. And I don’t just mean that you said yes to every request to join all the committees or teams. I mean that you said yes to every idea and resource you found. Of course we all did this, we were fresh without a stocked bag of tips and tricks, we had to say yes to everything.
But, for many of us, we also said yes to everything we did with our students. Yes to using that resource during our lecture, yes to the homework assignment that shouldn’t take that...
In various live Q&A sessions I do with groups of teachers in my programs, whether that’s the weekly Q&A in Flipped Classroom Formula or either of the monthly Q&A sessions I do for Sustainable Psych Teacher or my Insider’s Group, one of the most asked questions and top concerns teachers have had in preparing for and implementing their blended or virtual classrooms this year has been…
Welcome to week two of the 5-part Virtual Teacher Series where we at Teach On A Mission™ hope to shine a light of positivity on all the hard work being done by teachers to prepare the virtual aspects of their classrooms, as well as offer some encouragement and strategies for those teachers.
This week we are focusing on, you guessed it, testing in the virtual classroom. (If you haven't yet, now would be a good time to go check out week one's post here).
Testing in the traditional classroom is a pain in and of itself. It’s one that teachers...
After a two month hiatus, I'm so glad to get back to blogging each week with the goal of providing a place of encouragement, and maybe a few tips, for teachers. My hope is that this tiny spot on the internet can be one that you routinely, albeit quickly, visit to fill up your cup as you take on each week as a virtual teacher. But, you know what I blame for a two month interlude from consistently blogging each week???? Three words...
Back to school.
The months of August and September this year were incredibly unique and I think it took most of us, or at least it did me, by surprise. As a child, I was one of those kids who secretly geeked out about the back to school season. School shopping, picking out my own supplies that were color coordinated for my classes (#extra), setting out my outfit for the first days of school, and getting back into the fresh start that is the beginning of the school year, year after year, was something I always...
It is all too easy to go down the rabbit hole that is talking about the dumpster fire that is year 2020. Am I right?
Seriously it's hard to connect with your friends or be in a social gathering (wait, are we allowed to do that yet?) without the conversation being almost solely about what is pandemic living.
And then it gets even worse if the topic of going back to school comes up. I don't know about you, but I almost try to avoid that topic when I am amongst non-teacher friends. It's hard to hear some comments made about teachers.
Then you open social media or turn on the news and things are even worse when the topic of teachers comes up. Let's face it, no matter what your stance may be on going back to school or not, some of the things that "teachers" are doing and saying right now, meaning groups of teachers or teacher unions, are really hurting the perception of all teachers.
I said it.
Some of the stipulations that are being made by teachers about...
What a challenging time we find ourselves in as teachers, and we aren't even in school right now! Seriously, maybe it's just me, but it seems like a new limelight has been shown on teachers recently. It's like we have been working all summer to prepare our classrooms for an unpredictable year, then numbers of those contracting the virus started rising and a whole new pressure was added. Like we've got society's nasty pointer finger in our face saying "You'd better go back to school in the fall come hell or high water" with no regard for our (or our students') safety or HOW in the world we'll financially or physically meet social distancing requirements while maintaining our status as institutions of education (not free daycare).
Even through all of that, I still believe we'll come out of this better. Call me crazy, but I can literally see the field of education becoming better because our hand is being forced in a few areas.
Today's post is about one of the...
We are all keenly aware that no matter what decision our schools have made about starting the school year, it could change in a split second, more than once. But, as the resilient teachers that we are, we want to be ready for anything.
Many of us are preparing for what we're calling a blended or hybrid format, where we'll have half of our students one half of the week, and the other half of our students the other half of the week, or some variation thereof.
Something I've been saying for a few months now, and that was a rude awakening for many teachers in the spring is that the basic flipping techniques that I teach about on this blog and inside of programs like my online course, Flipped Classroom Formula, are ones that not only allow you the flexibility to make. it. happen. in a blended format, but allow the work you're doing now to count after all this distance learning stuff is over.
But, here's the thing. Will it ever be over? Lord help us, I hope so. The...