Now that the 2020-2021 school year has come to a close, we can all look back and realize the race it was to lessen the ramifications and decrease the learning gaps created by the shutdowns that occurred in the spring of 2020.
And when I say it was a race, I mean it was a rat race, with tons of hurdles, obstacles, disqualifications, delayed starts, and crap on the track and anything else that symbolizes hardship in our foot race analogy here.
Learning and achievement differences have always existed, but the shutdowns of 2020 put all kids’ learning in a jar, shook it up, and laid it out for us to clean up. And here’s a big takeaway for today’s episode… That clean up process is not finishing as we end this school year.
We will notice those learning gaps indefinitely. And we must respond in-kind.
So as we reflect on how to close these gaps, let’s do so with the facts in mind that
I have an analogy for you that will take us through the duration of this episode. Here it is. Throughout the school year, we each have multiple spinning plates in the air as teachers and as human beings. Each facet of our life is one spinning plate, and it’s our job to keep them spinning and in the air lest they drop and shatter.
Summer break, then, is a time for us to put down all the educational, teachery plates we keep spinning for 9-10 months of the year so that we can focus on other plates. Summer is an incredible thing for teachers - this is no news to you - but truly, it is time for us to refuel and rejuvenate in whatever aspect of our life we want.
In this episode I’d like to offer some food for thought on how we can use summer to fuel our sustainability throughout the year. Hence the title What is Summer to a Sustainable Teacher. So stick around areas within this topic that we’ll be pondering and discussing...
As teachers (and humans, really), we are provided with steps and formulas to follow in implementing great strategies, fixing our classroom management, and all other things teacher-life, at what seems like every turn. And I knowingly contribute to this, although I hope that my advice is valuable and helpful, but in this episode I hope to provide you with something NOT to, multiple steps NOT to take when it comes to improving upon and implementing strategies in your classroom.
And it really comes down to one piece of advice.
After listening to this episode you will know this ONE thing you shouldn’t do in your classroom because in not doing iit you’ll serve your own sustainability and your effectiveness with your students. You’ll feel empowered and ready to take next steps in strengthening your sustainable teacher-life.
So let’s get to it.
Picture this teacher-scenario really quickly. You want to make a change in your classroom, and...
On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Charles Youngs, a 30-year high school English teacher in Western Pennsylvania, who has been recognized as a Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year finalist, a Fulbright scholar, and is a frequent presenter at the annual convention of the National Teachers of English.
Currently he spends his days in a suburban public high school just south of Pittsburgh, teaching courses in Writing, Public Speaking and in AP Literature. That’s just part of his day. The other half is spent as an instructional coach for faculty on the ins and outs of ed tech.
Charles and my paths crossed in the spring of 2020, as he explains in the interview, when he was thinking about ways to make his time with students more intentional and more effective. He took my online course, Flipped Classroom Formula, and offers today a unique perspective on flipping, one that includes that of an English teacher and how to...
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.
Most of the time when teachers hear about the flipped classroom the main...
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...
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...
Hey there teacher friend! Today I’ve got a bit of a different episode for you. A few months back I sat down with Catherine Whitcher, the Master IEP Coach of specialedinnercircle.com and catherinewhitcher.com to chat about the possibilities of the flipped classroom in today’s education context and how the flipped classroom can serve teachers at the IEP table and their students.
This interview was done for Catherine’s podcast which I encourage you to go check it out, it’s called Special Education Inner Circle, and so she is actually interviewing me. I loved our conversation so much that I wanted to share it on my podcast as well. At the end of the episode you’ll hear me talk about dates long past for the Sustainable Teacher Challenge, but have no fear you can still go check that out here.
From a basic understanding of flipped learning to how the flipped classroom can serve you and your students long after distance learning, this...
The last couple weeks on the blog have been focused on talking to and hearing from students of the flipped classroom. If you haven't checked those out yet, I would encourage you to here and here.
This week, however, we are shifting gears and our focus to be on teachers not who have just flipped their classrooms, but who have done it by participating in the implementation program that is Flipped Classroom Formula.
Flipped Classroom Formula is the online course I built over a year ago to help teachers not just consider flipping and if it will work for them, but instead to get tools in their hands and actually build the thing. That's right, it's an implementation program where I walk teachers through, step-by-step, exactly how to flip their classrooms like a seasoned veteran without the overwhelm of DIYing it.
But instead of hearing me talk about it, I want you to hear from teachers who have been in the program and flipped their classrooms. Keep in mind that...
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...