Through the Flipping Glass; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

When Alice falls through the rabbit hole she finds herself in a confusing new reality where nothing is like it should be. Well, one month into the flipped class and some days I feel a bit like Alice….

In this new teacher reality I have found the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Think: Alice in a Western.

The Good….

1. Hands down one of the best results of the flipped class is the collaboration that has developed between the 3 teachers (including myself) who are flipping this year. This is the first time in my 18 years of teaching that I have experienced real collaboration. This is rabbit hole in itself. You rock fellow flippers!

2. Students come to class asking probing and thoughtful questions. Some days too many questions to get to. I (or maybe they) need to develop a sustainable mode for the students to answer each other’s questions and not to feel stressed and frustrated when I don’t get to them right away.

3. We do a lab, activity or inquiry based activity every day. I have overheard “We really get to do stuff this year” and “I am actually learning this year” during labs.

4. I talk to every student every day.

5. Students have had choice in terms of the activity they do and when they would like to do the activity.

The bad…

1. Well I have to go back to the good, the kids come to class with too many questions. I realize I don’t have a format in place here for them to process their questions amongst themselves. Students want me to be that ANSWER person.

2. Some students are still angry at me for not “teaching them”.

3. I am uncomfortable with not having everything “perfect” yet. I know, I know, this is my own hang up, I will get better with the controlled chaos.

4. I still am struggling with the optimal amount of teacher input. 

The Ugly….the Ugly is not because of the flipped class but what I have noticed as a result of the flipped class. I offer only one….

1.  When I do review, or do feel the need to give some sort of direct instruction, I am now hyper-aware of being the only voice and the resulting glazed look, on 80 percent of student faces.

Well Alice, what would Clint say?

6 thoughts on “Through the Flipping Glass; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

  1. Great post. I could never go back to the traditional model after flipping. The interaction with the students has been just too powerful like you noted here. Good luck as you move into the future.

  2. This is a great summary. All of your points still make me think really hard about what I do every day. I use a flipped biology and chemistry, and I think this year’s biology is one of my toughest crowds yet. But, because of the “extra” time, I can spend it with the learners that are either fighting it the hardest or struggling the most.
    Keep fighting the good fight!

  3. I have one Bio class that is smooth like silk and they all have bought into the idea of the flip. My other Bio class holds serious skeptics that make their feelings known (and you know how that works in a class!); it is an uphill battle every day. I am starting to realize that the skeptics are the learners that lack confidence and need more encouragement.

    The learning curve is both steep and exciting, thanks for input! I am in for the long haul 🙂

    • Hi Audrey and thanks. There are not many Canadian teachers who are flipping, it’s funny. Maybe it will begin to catch on. You were one of the first teachers I saw last year when I started to investigate this idea, so thanks for forging the way and for blogging about it! All the best,

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