“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.” – Fahrenheit 451.
On Schoology, I took part in a group discussion started by a teacher who had flipped his classroom. He seemed like a great guy. He seemed creative, hardworking, and personally invested in his students’ success. The kind of teacher you would want your kid to have. Unfortunately, he had been asked by his principal to stop flipping his classroom because it wasn’t “working” for a minority of his students. Some kids weren’t doing well. These kids, this teacher stated, probably wouldn’t be doing well regardless of how he taught his class. He wanted to know where he went wrong.
I felt really bad for him. He talked about how he tried to do all the right things. He held them accountable for watching the video at home, made DVDs (using his own money) for students who needed them, and planned fun activities in class just like all the books and sites probably told him, yet some students still struggled; some even rebelled. This guy seemed like a great teacher. He was before he flipped his classroom and still will be after he un-flips his classroom (shame on that principal!).
Where he went wrong, I think, is where many teachers go wrong in education: they think implementing something in their class is a guarantee. I think he bought into the hype of The Flipped Classroom™. Flipping your classroom is not a silver bullet. It is not that anyone one thing that will solve all of your problems in the classroom; that any one thing doesn’t exist. Flipping your classroom will not make you a great teacher, nor will all of your students fall so in love with The Flipped Classroom™ that they all become model students.
My classroom is flipped, but it is not a The Flipped Classroom™. In fact, if you came into my classroom and asked my kids what it was like to learn in a flipped classroom, they would look at you like you’re nuts because I’ve never even said the words flipped, flipping, or flipped classroom to them. Why? The Flipped Classroom™ is a lie.