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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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Organization in the Sustainable Classroom

Today on the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am excited to welcome Kelly Jackson of Thesimplyorganizedteacher.com so we can chat about something that many of you have resolved to accomplish in 2021.  Many teachers who have participated in our Sustainable Teacher Challenge where we all are challenged to find ways to make our daily teaching lives a bit more manageable, actually set goals around becoming more organized.  Whether you set those kinds of goals or have an interest in getting all things teacher-life a bit more organized, then this episode is for you.

Kelly is a former teacher of little turned Classroom Organization Coach.  She helps busy and overwhelmed teachers create organized, safe, and well-managed classrooms that facilitate effective learning for their students and more time for themselves. She is a Texas girl currently living in Germany. Kelly runs The Simply Organized Teacher, hosts the Simply Teach podcast, and is the creator of The Organized Teacher...

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How the Flipped Classroom Shifts Your Role as a Teacher

Raise your hand if you are so totally over this whole online teaching thing?  If we were together in person (reminisce on physical presence with another human being real quick - big huge nostalgic sigh - now back to reality), I'm sure we'd reflect on all the things we miss about the classroom and being physically present with our students.

In fact, I think this whole pandemic is teaching us a very solid lesson on the importance of physical presence.  With our families, with our friends, coworkers, and especially our students.

In fact, your role as an educator sans students you see on a daily basis is probably nothing more than "messenger and grader".  Your role doesn't go much deeper than that because without physical presence any attempts to do so seem superficial and not as effective when done online.

Over the last week or so as we've been hearing the news of schools closing for the year and as I've listened to many teachers about their struggles with online...

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Why Flipping is the Answer During COVID-19 Distance Learning

A few weeks ago when the world seemed to all but shut down completely - I admit that statement seems a bit dramatic given all major media companies including the life-giving Netflix and Disney+ are still available, but when schools shut down, to me, that seems like a pretty big shut down and huge shift for most homes - teachers lives shifted in a way unique to few other occupations.

Instead of just spending time at home, teachers are sometimes working more hours than they were in the classroom given the new demands of distance learning and all that it takes to meet each of their students' needs while not in their physical presence.

This is not a newsflash for anyone reading this blog right now.

I state the obvious, though, because I want to put a stake in the ground here and say something that I hope all teachers hear and ponder for a bit before eventually responding, and ultimately making a slight shift that will benefit them in the long run.

In all this work you're doing right...

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Teaching Online and Working from Home: Strategies to do BOTH

Within about one week’s time, the entire nation’s population of teachers went from teaching in-class to teaching online.  Take into account the varying degrees of tech-experience amongst teachers, some who have built online lessons for years and others who still keep a paper-pencil gradebook, and we’ve got ourselves a uniquely exhilarating and terrifying situation when all the nation’s schools simultaneously closed their doors.

In this post, my goal is to put words to what most teachers are experiencing right now as they wrap their minds around the molded-together, modge-podge position they now hold as an online, work-from-home teacher.  Identifying what we are experiencing is the first step, but then I hope to provide effective and efficient strategies for this new dual role. 

A Message For Teachers

I want to take a moment and give a huge shout out to all teachers.  Because we have a career in common, you are my people, and today I stand...

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How the Flipped Classroom Changed Everything For Me

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...

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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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3 Unforeseen Wins of the Flipped Classroom

Ten or so years ago when I decided to flip my classroom the reasons why I wanted to flip were very clear.  Crystal clear.

From wanting to do more than just lecture all day to increasing student accountability and ownership over their learning, I knew the flipped classroom model would get me closer to those goals.  I could go on and on about finding and solidifying your WHY for flipping, and I give most commons reasons why in this post, but it's something we dive deeply into in my online course where I walk teachers through, step-by-step how to flip their classroom, called the Flipped Classroom Formula.

I won't spend time in this post talking about reasons to flip because, I'm betting, you know what those are.  And if you don't know them for sure, you do have some idea of why you're looking into this whole flipping thing, and I want to help you solidify and optimize those reasons if you become one of the teachers who joins me in the Flipped Classroom Formula.

This...

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5 Myths You Can STOP Believing About the Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom has been around for probably close to 15 years.  In the education realm, it's not a brand-new concept, but it is one that is gaining traction with more and more teachers because of the many ways it can improve classroom engagement and the performance of students.

However, there are quite a few misconceptions about the flipped classroom that prevent teachers from even considering it.  In this post, I want to flush out those misconceptions so that teachers can consider flipping for what it truly is.

1. It takes too much TIME.

First thing's first.  Let's start with the big one.  I like to address the elephant in the room, and this is definitely one of them.  Here's why... because it does take time.  Flipping your classroom very much takes time to craft and master.  But here's the thing - it's not that it take more time, it is a trade off in time spent.

The big goal of the business world is to be cognizant of and have a...

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