Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Most Important Take-Away
This simple tweet pretty much sums up the best take-away from the first day of flipcon13. In fact, it pretty much sums up teaching in general, don't you think? At least for me it does. I've never been able to teach a kid anything if I didn't have a relationship with them in the first place. That's why I've always spent the first few days of a school year getting to know my kids. I use some silly activities (but not many, because as an adult, I hate touchy, feely get to know you activities), kids give little speeches to introduce themselves,
and we talk.
We talk a lot.
We talk about summer.
We talk about sports practices
We talk about jobs
We talk about cars
We talk about friends
And snuck into all that talking...
We talk about books and writing and homework and school
And I learn a lot.
Now, don't get me wrong. I learned a lot in all my sessions. There was a great one just for English teachers and we just talked about how to go about this thing called flipped learning. At first it seems like it can't be done, that it's just for those science and math people. But then little ideas start creeping in--what if I have students get their background knowledge in some other way, in some other form, without me lecturing?
What if there's a way to teach/reteach grammar rules, writing rules, without drill and kill worksheets?
What if I can figure out more ways to give them choice? Do kids have to take a test to show what they have learned? What if they have a better way to share their learning?
Do they have to complete the activities I have come up with?
What if they have something else they want to try?
The possibilities are endless.
And there are two amazing English teachers who team teach their classes....
one in California...
one in North Carolina.
Cross country, team teaching. Revolutionary.
So even though I will flip entire classes instead of units next school year, I won't cheat myself and my students out of that community we build each year. In fact, that community, that family, will be more important than ever. We will have to learn from each other, depend on each other, share with each other.
And if that isn't 21st century learning, I don't know what is.