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Don't Do This ONE Thing in Your Classroom

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...

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A Teacher's Flipped Classroom Transformation Part 3

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...

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A Teacher's Flipped Classroom Transformation - Part 2

On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Jessica Verrill, a chemical engineer turned stay-at-home-mom turned high school chemistry teacher. She has been teaching chemistry at a small town academy in central Maine since 2018, has a wonderful husband, two fabulous teenage daughters, and a fun little dog named Ziggy. Jessica loves to spend time with her family kayaking on the local river, at camp on the New Brunswick border, and hiking in the mountains or on the beautiful coast of Maine.

Our paths first crossed in the spring of 2020, as Jessica will explain in the interview, where she attended my flipped classroom workshop.  She then took my online course Flipped Classroom Formula, and is on the podcast today to share her classroom transformation amongst teaching in a pandemic and the success she and her students have experienced because of her hard work, and strategic decision to flip her classroom.

Topics discussed in today's...

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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 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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Are You Tired of Low Student Engagement?

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...

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My Flipping Conversation with the Master IEP Coach

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...

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3 Must-Have Flipped Classroom Procedures

This week I want to be sure that I'm giving you as much practical flipped classroom strategies as possible.  No matter the flipped classroom model you choose (which you can learn about in the Ultimate Flipped Classroom Starter Kit here), you want to rely on solid procedures in your class.  

In this post, I will be bringing you the major three themes and desires behind procedures I had in my classroom, and what I recommend to all of the teachers in my online course, Flipped Classroom Formula.  These are absolute musts for any thriving flipped classroom.

1. Student Content

In my online course, Flipped Classroom Formula, there is an entire MODULE on just this topic... student content and what that looks like.  Here's the big secret... student content is NOT your videos.

Shocker, I know.

Here's the thing, you HAVE to have a procedure for what your students will be doing when they watch your videos.  You can't just leave them out for the wolves and...

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