Demand your student be seen!

Parents, is your student seen, heard, valued, and thriving in her school setting? Do her teachers know how she best learns and what support she needs to reach her potential? 

School leaders, do your teachers have the infrastructure to make this level of engagement happen? If not, let’s discuss an inexpensive, yet transformational, structure that can revolutionize each classroom in your school. Flipped Learning 3.0.

We know that tween and teen mental health concerns are at an all-time high. When kids are not met where they are, depression and anxiety rise. Creating smaller school communities (micro-schools and schools-within-schools) is the ideal way to add this vital personalization. BUT, in the meantime, there is also a framework that can be implemented immediately in every classroom. Flipped Learning (FL) 3.0.

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI), takes the pioneering efforts of Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams forward with FL 3.0. Original flipped learning was a HUGE paradigm shift, suggesting that teachers organize their talking, synthesizing lectures into the basics and sending it home as a pre-lesson. Then classroom time could focus on student-engagement with the teacher guiding learning, instead of “talking at students.” In this age of shortened student attention spans and YouTube sound bites, students confess to tuning out, napping, or playing on their phone if the teacher talks for more than five minutes. The Flipped Learning model allows for student engagement during the class period. No more naps in class!

Two years ago, John Bergman joined forces with Emmy-award-winning journalist Earl St. Cllair Smith and the FLGI was born. Now there is a series of online training sessions that focus on engaging students in higher level thinking during the class session. 

Initially, shifting to this model takes work. Teachers have to get very clear on the highlights of their lessons and cull way the unnecessary parts. They also have to have clear outcomes and assessments. Then they create learning activities where the students own their learning. 

The beauty of this model, beyond having real learning happen, is teachers are free to connect with students and reach each student. Each student can be seen, heard, and valued so that they thrive in school. Gone is the “sage on the stage.” She is replaced with the guide on the side–the teacher who has stopped talking long enough to be informed by what she sees in her classroom. 

This leads us to authentic assessment in the process. We call this formative assessment. This assessment while observing students and helping them daily, allows teachers to adjust the activities and supports based on the information they are gathering in the classroom. It allows for mastery checks along the way, which can speed up learning for some kids and slow it down to a successful pace for others. It also replaces an ancient and dead practice of relying solely on summative assessments. Summative assessments happen at the end of a semester or unit. They summarize what the student learned but after the opportunity to learn has passed. Progressive educators often called this form of assessment a post-mortem. It happens after the body is dead, not helping a student improve his learning. 

Parents, we know that our students are often overloaded and overwhelmed with hours of homework. We know they tune out when they are talked at for the majority of the period. We know that they need someone coming around and seeing what is working and what needs to be refined. Demanding that all classrooms flip their instruction and engage in active learning with clear outcomes in the classroom, can transform how a student feels about school. Anxiety, depression, and feelings of being “stupid,” all diminish with active, student-directed learning.

This is why LEADPrep is a fully Flipped Learning 3.0 school. It allows us to skyrocket student success with engaged learning and personalization. 

Principals and school leaders, we entered this profession to have a positive impact on kids. What we are doing now is not working. We are in crisis with our traditional model. No other industry in the world is still using a model from a hundred years ago. I know you get swamped with all of the demands of running a school or classroom. But nothing is more important than reaching each student and making learning accessible. 

Parents and school leaders alike, it would be wonderful to create micro-schools and other small learning communities. I recently wrote a book that illustrates paths to create this small, innovative learning model. But a change that could happen next semester or sooner, is to start flipping every classroom. I encourage you to take one of the 15-hour online classes and learn more. Jon Bergmann, himself, models this structure. You will see how science labs, Socratic seminars, project-based learning, elementary, university…all kinds of teaching fits within this infrastructure. You will learn how it is based on best practices determined by 100 educators (including university professors) from around the world. 

We have become numb to the dismal results our education system is producing. We have accepted dropout rates usually above 20% and the exponential increase in teen mental health diagnoses with minimal changes to our overall structure. Let us all demand that our students be seen, heard, and valued so that they thrive in schools… Now! 

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