I know I have not been the best at blogging, but that doesn't mean the gears haven't been turning. I was just reading a great blog post about why the flipped classroom feels like self teaching to some students. This struck a huge chord with me. My students during my regular give me feedback about the course have been asking me for more teacher lead in class instruction. I have to say that I have been trying to do that for them. I was relieved and at the same time intrigued to hear in the blog I read that this is a common growing pain of flipping.
If I think about what I am asking my students to do, I am basically asking them to do the opposite of what they have been doing the majority of their academic career, and likely the opposite of what they are doing right now in other classes. It is no doubt that flipping and exploring then looking at content in their own time and own way is foreign and feels like I am doing nothing.
I will admit it has been odd for me too. I feel like I put so much effort in that no one sees. Students, parents and colleagues have no idea how many hours I spend outside of class researching and making content for my Youtube channel and for my website and assignments. To them it probably looks like I am a slacker. I spend my class time working one on one with whom ever needs it, with what ever they are working on and occasionally doing group instruction if there is a few at the same place. It looks like in the traditional sense that I do "nothing" my marking load is much different as I never just sit down and mark a stack of the same assignment as it is not likely that there is a stack of the same assignment. Most people are at different places at different times. I am instead constantly marking. I am constantly trying to stay on top of the 6 different classes I teach in 2 physical blocks of student time.
Flipping has allowed for us to run 6 different programs in 2 blocks. I don't know that I would try that again as it is a bit too much but is sure has been great for the students. They have been able to choose which computer course that interests them the most regardless of the block designation.
Sometimes I do need to clone myself. I feel torn in so many directions that I sometimes forget what they are talking about. They are really pretty tolerant at explaining to my multitasking mind exactly which part of which assignment in which class they are struggling with. It may inadvertently be teaching better avocation skills. For me, however, it is overwhelming at times. I would like to try this again with a little less going on and see if this really is effective.
I feel like I am just keeping my head above water with it right now. I don't know if it is because I need more practice or if 6 classes in two blocks is just too many subjects. I am so grateful for this digital world of supportive colleagues if you have suggestions or know if I am just going through growing pains let me know. I could use the guidance.