Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Monday, I had a sub cover my classes for me while I was at a committee meeting. I had planned a fun and highly connected activity for the students to complete. When I returned yesterday, I found out that a few of my students just decided that the lesson was not worth their time and decided to do homework for other classes instead. The justification? Not every lesson from every teacher has a purpose.

When did it become ok for students to decide whether or not that they were going to do an assignment? When did they become the judge of what is a valuable lesson?

This is a slippery slope that I think education has been going down for quite some time. And to me, it all comes down to respect.

In this country, teachers are seen as people who just work from 8-3 pm and go home and have nothing to do. The government has no respect for the profession, the media has no respect for the profession, most parents don't have respect for the profession, so what else can a child do?

This is not true in all countries and it is one of the reasons that I have always wanted to teach in another country. I have heard from friends that have taught in some Asian countries that teachers are treated with great respect. That would be an amazing thing to be a part of; working in a place where you are paid a decent salary (many single income families here in the US are on food stamps and welfare), and treated with respect and as a professional.

I left a very lucrative profession and made a conscious choice to become a teacher. It was my dream since I was a little girl. Education is my second career and up until this point, I have never questioned it. But as the years toil on and we are expected to do more and more with less and less (no raise for four years yet healthcare costs going up 125%), and being held accountable for student learning that they are not even held accountable for, and getting less and less respect - maybe it is time for a change. But who will change? Society or me?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flipping 501- Lesson 1

In college, classes that met every day had a five in their course title. I have really considered Flipping 101 to be a misnomer because it is an every day job. So I think from now on I will call it FL501.

 There are also so many misnomers and misconceptions about what makes a flipped classroom and what does not. Bottom line is that there is no one best way to do it - the best way is the way that works for you and your students.

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking some of these myths head on and helping you decode and debunk the term that is now being thrown around like yesterday's trash.

So here is lesson 1 -

Flipping is not about technology

Many people come to the flipped classroom looking for a quick fix. That is not what this movement is about. If you are looking for a way to make your life easier, then you need to look elsewhere. Flipping is about the best use of your class time. Thousands of us already make decisions on what is best for our students on a daily basis.

So the first step is to look at your classroom - really take a fresh look at it. Start with the seating arrangement - is it conducive to collaborative and deeper learning? Look at the structure of your lessons. Do they encourage deeper thinking? Reflect every day on what you are spending your time on in the classroom. Is this really the best use of your class time?

This is the first step. We will go over what to do with this data in the next blog....