Thursday, June 1, 2017

Many Changes

Today I just completed a second day of filling my brain with goodies at the Olathe Summer Conference 2017. 

I'm in a weird transition right now. A year ago I left the public schools to teach at a private non profit christian school in KC, MO. Unfortunately, it didn't end up being a good fit. My passion for technology, data, and PBL did not align with their vision. So I'm jumping right back into the district I left, but returning to a different building and grade level. I know this isn't the norm, but I LOVE CHANGE! In 8 years of teaching I have taught in 3 different schools, and 3 different grade levels. It keeps me on my toes and challenges me not to get stuck in a rut. 
Anyway, all the sessions at conference I chose revolved around technology... project based learning (taught by tech and PBL guru Ginger Lewman) and flipped learning (by creator Jon Bergmann). My brain is exploding with ideas, I love how the two are so interconnected. Jon described flipped learning as the operating system and all the other pieces... maker space, PBL, cooperative learning, etc. are the apps plugged into the operating system.This is a great image and as he unpacked flipped learning it all made sense. 

The flipped classroom really is the future... last year I spent the 2nd semester flipping math for second graders. They loved it! I loved it! My principal loved it! It allowed me to do guided math and build closer relationships with students. They loved the videos and they had a resource for when they were struggling. Jon calls this version... The In Flip. My students watched all material in class while I was working with other groups. Working in a title/ELL building I cannot expect kids to watch it outside of class. Also, our district is currently 2:1 so there are not enough iPads for all students to be watching at once. 

Talking to some colleagues I am sensing a huge change in education. There are teachers hungry for PBL, flexible seating, technology, and makerspace. While I believe this is the future of education and student improvement I hope the district will support and continue to feed that passion. I'm also hoping those who don't currently see the value in all these pieces start to see the need for change and want to jump on board!
Here's to another great year of teaching and learning!