Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why Some Teachers Don’t Flip

The following is a summary of an email exchange with Ed Mass of of which Ed posted on
Ed asked, “Why don’t other departments in your school Flip since all five math department teachers have Flip and have had some success with Flipping?”  I reply that, “I do not know why they have not Flipped.  However, I will offer some possible ideas.”
My responses (listed in order of the most likely reasons to the least likely reasons):

·         Many teachers are resistant to change. They teach the way they were taught. Whether new, or teaching the same way for decades, they don't adapt easily to changes.
ResponseIf there is a resistance to change, I ask, "Why?" How does the resistance to change serve you? How does it serve your students?

·         Some teachers like being "in control." They feel that if their students are quiet, they are in control of the classroom. They also like being the center of attention (the power) and being the source of information. It gives them a sense of importance.
Response: As a teacher, are we here for our own ego and self-worth or are we here to help students learn and do what is best for our students? If you answer to help students learn and do what is best for them, consider Flipping.

·         It takes time to record the lessons up front and some teachers do not want to take that time.
Response: What they do not realize, even if we have told them, is that you get that time back when you are Flipping because you do not have students in your room before and after school nearly as much as prior to Flipping.

·         Some teachers are so busy just trying to keep their head above water that they do not have time to think about ways to change.
Response: If you are so overwhelmed, then you should look at ways to change and improve, that make you more efficient with your time and effective in both teaching and your students' learning.

·         If I Flip my lessons, what will I do in class?
Response: This is a great question. The possibilities are endless but some teachers are afraid to answer the question.

·         Some teachers have the myth that if I Flip then my students will not need me.
Response: I have experienced the opposite and my students have told me the same. That is, in a Flipped Classroom the teacher is even more important. It's easy to replace a lecture. However, a teacher that engages students and makes the classroom fun, while enhancing students' learning, is highly valued by students and administrators, and much more difficult to replace.

·         Some teachers view my math department as a little crazy or "just out there" and they do not want to be like us.
Response: Why not? What is better than higher student outcomes while students take more responsibility for their own learning and have more fun while doing so?

·         Some teachers are not comfortable having their lessons online where anyone could look at them including their principal or fellow teachers. In other words, they are insecure about their own teaching ability or lessons.
Response: What better way to learn, and improve our lessons and teaching, than from the critique/feedback of other professionals? Plus, you have the opportunity to view other teachers' lessons and learn from them. You can do this whether you Flip or choose not to Flip.

·         Some teachers are not comfortable with learning the technology to record and post lessons.
Response: It is fairly easy whether you use the SMART Recorder software or the Ink2Go software recommended by CrazyForEducation. It is super easy to upload them and use all the enhanced features in the CrazyForEducation system. You can post them on YouTube but then you have all those ads and uncontrolled content that don't exist anywhere in the CrazyForEducation system. They are totally ad-free.

·         Flipping is just a math department thing. Some teachers do not understand how they could flip their subject.
Response: I have ideas on how they could Flip their subject and I could help some teachers generate ideas. Here are several thoughts to get you started:
* Have students learn about Art outside of class so they can spend class time creating Art pieces.
* Have students learn about different physical activities/games (PE) outside of class so the students can use class time engaging in those physical activities/games.
* Have students learn about Spanish outside of class so they can spend class time reading Spanish, writing Spanish, speaking Spanish.
* Have students learn about science outside of class so that students can have more time to actually do science; play with stuff to get first hand experience and better understand science; conduct more science experiments.
* Have students learn about cooking outside of class so they can spend class time actually cooking.
* In social studies, have students learn the basics of different topics in history outside of class so that in class the students can be in large group discussions with the teacher about the material, and in small groups creating projects related to what they learned outside of class.
* In English, Flip the grammar rules, Flip basic writing techniques, so in class the students can practice writing with the teacher there to guide them. Flip citation formats; Flip the student writers conference, where the teacher either audio records, or video records while showing the student's paper, their thoughts and comments about the student's work.
* In music, Flip the following: how to play a particular note, background of a musical piece, sing/play a particular style.
* In our school, the foods teacher is having his students record themselves making a particular food at home.
* Our music teachers are having students record themselves playing/singing a particular piece outside of class.

·         Some teachers are not comfortable with having their voice/image online.
Response: Whether you like it or not there is already a lot of material online about us.

One last note: Typically Special Education teachers like a Flipped Classroom because the teachers can either a) watch the lessons themselves to better help their students and/or b) they can have the students watch, and replay, the video lessons to better understand the material. Teachers also watch the lessons with the students to help them learn how to engage in the lesson, pausing and replaying, and taking notes. A Flipped Classroom gives Special Education teachers more options to assist their students in learning processes.