Friday, June 14, 2013

Leaving teaching behind

Flipping my classroom has changed everything. It all began with trying to find a way to increase the fluency of my students and create a more rigorous Spanish program at my high school, but it has evolved into so much more. I have discovered so many great ideas and methods for incorporating not just the required information, but fun, real world based activities that the students love. It has become a personal journey of learning for me as well, and the best part of it all has been the people I have met along the way that have helped me continue to improve.

The biggest change for me through this whole process has been my discovery that I don't want to be a teacher anymore. Standing up in front of the class all day delivering content and leading class activities used to make me feel so happy. But, as I have continued teaching, I have realized that I just don't want to do that anymore. The traditional teacher role has brought me joy, and my students were all good enough at the content to be satisfied with their progress. During second semester, I picked up a Spanish I class, which I did not flip to maintain continuity with what their teacher had done with them the previous semester. I found that lecturing in front of the class was not where I was comfortable anymore because I knew how ineffective of a method this was.  Things change and new challenges present themselves, so choices have to be made.

I have accepted the challenge of being a facilitator and leave my teaching role behind forever. I have realized that my students can take control of their own learning and they many push themselves harder than I ever would. I understand now that to move past "getting through" my class to really "appreciating  and excelling", they need to be given the freedom to find ways to apply their learning to their life and I need to facilitate this happening, not dictate.

I am committed to doing this by giving students as much choice as possible in my class. As long as they can show me they are increasing fluency, I am not going to force them to conform to my ideas of fun. Let's face it, many times that are more creative than I am with their assignments, and only when that students start tapping into their creativity do they truly learn. I am moving aside to let my students be the "stars" of the classroom, and I think it is the best choice I have ever made.

Do you want to join me? Become a part of my PLN (personal learning network) and let's all work together to make our classes a place where students can express themselves with the content and surprise themselves with how much they learn because our classes are something the look forward to, not something they have to get through.

Looking for more information? Join #flipclass chat at 8EST on Twitter or #langchat on Thursdays at 8 EST on Twitter. Want more concrete information? Preorder the book Flipping 2.0 - Practical Applications for Flipping Your Class coming this August. This book is full of ideas for every content area, with a chapter by me dedicated to World Language! Select me as your author when you preorder.

Heather