A couple weeks ago while taking a look at the Flipped Classroom hashtag (#flipclass) I saw a Flipped Classroom educator (name escapes me now) who said he would be going back to traditional lecture based instruction this next semester. His rationale, if I remember correctly, was to see how different his practice has become and to evaluate the pros and cons of each method.
Leaving the Flipped Classroom to learn more about ones teaching…this intrigued me and got me thinking of my own practice. Would this be a worthwhile venture for me? I am a strong believer in reflection and what better way to see how things have evolved than to step back and see what things used to be. Hmmm…
After some thought I realized I would be doing my students a disservice if I choose to go back to the way I used to teach. I wouldn’t be giving my students all I have to offer. I don’t flip my classroom because it is hip, I flip because it is the best of me. I feel that I am a better teacher as a Flipped Classroom teacher. Do I know that I am a better teacher? No. Do I have some anecdotal evidence that says I am? Yes, I suppose so, my thesis / student surveys / student gossip, but it is far from conclusive evidence. As a professional I make choices every day. Is that learning outcome as important as this one? Should that student write that test today? Is that student doing ok, she looks unhappy? This situation is no different. For a number of reasons, many which I have discussed in previous blog entries, I feel that what I bring to the table as a Flipped Classroom teacher is greater than when I don’t flip. I am not saying that this is the case for all teachers, but it is for me.
So I will NOT be leaving the Flipped Classroom. Leaving may provide me with some additional insight into my practice but the cost it would have to my current students is not worth it. I think as teachers we owe our students the best of us, whatever that may be. The best of me is when I am flipping.