New Teaching Approaches can Encounter Road Blocks. Be Prepared With These Resources and Techniques.
Any time we try something new, we’re probably going to encounter obstacles and challenges to overcome.
This is certainly true for flipped teaching and learning. Some administrators, colleagues, and parents are inevitably going tell us why it won’t work and why we shouldn’t do it. Some students are probably going to complain and may use it as an excuse for why they are struggling. That’s okay. You just need to be prepared.
Few good things come without some challenges to overcome. Here are a bunch of great ideas, resources, tips, and techniques to help you be ready to confront those challenges head on!
Technology Limitations – Students with Limited Access to Content
Making sure your students will have access to flipped learning content is a concern that is frequently cited when teachers start down the road to the flipped classroom. There are lots of districts where a significant portion of the population is economically disadvantaged, and most school districts have tight budgets, and this can be a real challenge. The good news is that many teachers have overcome this obstacle. Check out this article to learn how.
You know perfectly well that if your student’s parents are upset about your teaching technique, they may very well bypass you and go directly to administration. This is just one reason to be sure to explain to your administrators what you are doing and seek their buy-in … so they can be prepared to help overcome objections that parents (and other teachers) may have.
For more perspective on this, teacher-turned-administrator (and Tech Ninja!) Todd Nelsoney speaks to this well in this excellent tutorial he did for Sophia.org.
Let Parents Know What to Expect
If you’re flipping in K-12, and especially in younger grades, it is important to let parents know about your approach. In fact, reaching out to embrace parents can help in many ways.
Following are numerous examples of letters to parents that you can use as is or edit as needed, to reach out and advise parents about the way your class will run:
- Todd Nelsoney’s Letter (in English): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uqiDznW6T24f320Q7P4mnpktManh_Loj0tcsSfUlI18/edit
- Todd Nelsoney Letter (in Spanish):
- Don Mace’s letter: http://donmace.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/file/view/FlippedClassroomParentLetter.pdf
- Crazy for Education’s letter: http://www.crazyforeducation.com/#!explain-flipping/cw6g
Another great idea that experienced ‘flippers’ have used is to open their classrooms and encourage parents to come in and see what they’re doing. It can be a surprising and very beneficial technique … after all, you’ve got nothing to hide!
Getting Your Peers on Board and Overcoming Misconceptions
Oh those pesky peers … they can be the most frustrating obstacle of all! Here’s a set of videos and articles that can help get other teachers up to speed on flipped instruction, offer responses to common criticisms, and offer perspective on why many educators are on board with this growing grassroots movement.
- Flipped Learning: A Response To Five Common Criticisms, by Alan November
- 5 New Videos About Flipped Learning from Bergmann & Sams. Aaron and Jon are arguably the most recognized proponents of the flipped teaching and learning in the world today. In these brief videos, Bergmann and Sams explain the flipped classroom and address considerations and concerns, with their unique blend of clarity, precision, and expert insight.
- The Teaching Pedagogy of the Future? The Flipped Classroom According to Today’s Educators
- Flipped Learning for the Win in Higher Ed! Horizon Report: Time to Adopt is NOW
So turn those obstacles into opportunities and don’t let the naysayers dissuade you!