I talked to my cooperating teacher when I was student teaching this pasted semester about Flipped Classroom. While she does see some pros with this model, she mainly focuses on the cons. She said it was a bad idea and listed several reasons why she thinks it will not work at the school I’ll be teaching for. She said that if I am passionate about this idea, I should try it, but I might be setting myself up for failure. Several key points that she mentioned are:
Equality: Not everyone will have access to a device that can watch the videos.
In fact, over 70% of the student bodies at the school I’ll be teaching at are on free or reduced lunch. They might not be able to afford to have access to the Internet. While this is a very valid point, when I was going to school, I qualified for free lunch and my family still could afford a computer with internet access. I am just praying that most students are the same way. If not then I could give them videos on a flash drive to watch on their computer. If they don’t have a computer, I could burn it on a dvd or cd so they can watch it on their dvd player. If there were several students who do not have a dvd player, I would not mind spending my own money on buying portable dvd players so they can use it at home. I will create a survey at the very beginning of the school year to see how many students have Internet accessibility. Being a floating teacher really put a handicap on the situation. I have no place to really call my own so the students could come in before or after school to watch videos if for some reason they could not watch it beforehand.
Motivation: How will I get the students will watch the videos?
Most of the students that I’ll be teaching next year are the lower level students. Chemistry course is supposed to be taken during sophomore year. These are mainly students who were not quiet ready to take it sophomore year so they take IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry) in 10th grade and Chemistry in 11th grade. My future class will compose of inclusion students (where a teacher aid will be in the classroom with me) and many students who simply do not put school on the top of their priority list. My cooperating teacher also mentioned that I could get into a lot of trouble if students do not watch my video therefore they are not learning in my class. She said that if I do it the traditional way and lecture in from of class, at least I could say that I do teach and they just weren’t paying attention. Another teacher from the same school who also taught 11th grade chemistry mentioned that many students tells him that school is a wasted of time. The minute they turn 18, they will not come back to school. The said that they are only in school because the state of Texas says they have too! Students will tell him they know a friend of a friend who makes over $20 an hr welding or have some sort of construction/technician jobs without a college or even a high school degree. I even had a student said that his mom made over $80,000 a year doing what she loves to do which is painting, drawing, and creating murals. His mom never graduated high school. Another student had said that his dad own a car shop and when he finish high school his dad will open one up so he could be the boss. They feel that high school is a waste of time. How do I motive students like that? I need to find a way to motivate them! That is part of my job! I should have the same high expectation for all my students. If I don’t believe in them, who will? I am their teacher, it is my responsibility to guide them toward the right path, help them see that they are all capable of great accomplishments, and show them how academic achievement will impact their lives in the future.
We will have a shorter amount of time to teach a more intense and rigorous curriculum
In years past, the district gives CBA (Curriculum-Based Assessment) every 6 weeks to get ready for the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test at the end of the year. Texas had replaced the TAKS with another standardized test called the STARR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness). It is suppose to be harder and will have more in depth questions. The upcoming 10th grader will be the first to take the STARR Chemistry in 2012-2013. I’ll be teaching the 11th grader so they still will be taking the TAKS. However the district still hold the same standards for both the 10th and 11th grader. So instead of having the students take the CBA every 6 weeks, they will take the CBA every 5weeks (at least this is what I heard from another teacher), and to top it all off, it will cover more objectives then the previous CBA! My cooperation teachers said that I should give flip teaching a try. If this fails and the students do not learn anything, it is my responsibility to find time and catch them up. Then if I cannot find time to catch up, I will be in so much trouble…
There are so many things to think about. I wish I know a teacher in Houston, TX that had success with this that I could personally talk to for advice. Since this will also be my first year teaching, I am very nervous. However I still think that the benefits will outweigh the cons. I just have to give this a try or else I would always wonder what if? So this summer I have a lot to learn, a lot to think about, and a lot to do to get ready for the next school year. I know that this will be quite a challenge, but I can do it because I believe in myself. I am passionate and dedicated.