By Kelisa Wing
When I found out that I was the named the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity State teacher of the year, I was so humbled and honored; however, I was worried because I knew that this honor would bring travel. I began to embark on how to teach my students as many concepts as I could before I would be going on my sabbatical. What was I going to do – I thought, and then I discovered the beauty of Flipped Learning.
- Flexible environment: Before I could design and implement flipped learning into my classroom, I had to ensure that the environment was conducive to a collaborative environment. My students are seated in groups, which allows them to support each other and also helps me to be a facilitator.
- Learning Culture: The culture in my classroom is very student-centered. All of my lessons, videos, and resources are on a learning management system (LMS), Schoology, so the students are independent workers and have access to these materials at home. I have found that my students have become incredibly empowered because of the way our classroom is constructed.
- Intentional Content: This is used to accentuate what students already know and what they should be researching on their own as a result of the content that I am providing to them through the LMS.
- Professional Educator: Many educators think that by flipping their classroom they will experience less work as a result, but this is not true. Taking the journey to develop a flipped classroom is a commitment that requires a lot of dedication and work; however, it is worth the investment. Flipping a classroom requires a lot of preparation during the entire process of the flipped classroom experience and also requires me as an educator to “let go” of the control that I used to have.
Early on, I wondered if my students would be able to handle independently working outside of the classroom, but what I have found is that my students actually prefer to learn in this way. I have also discovered that my students are learning more now than in the traditional way, as I am increasing the time they are involved in the lesson by having them work on these lessons outside of class. I am also enjoying my role as facilitator as a result of Flipped Learning. My personal goal as an educator is that my students take ownership for their learning, and this is exactly what is happening as a result of my classroom being flipped. I have learned, through this journey, that my students can handle the rigor of Flipped Learning. I am leaving in a few weeks for my semester long sabbatical, but I know that I am leaving them better than they were at the beginning of the school year – they are going to be just fine.
FLIP Learning Network. (2016). Definition of Flipped Learning. Retrieved from https://flippedlearning.org/research-reports-studies/
Kelisa Wing is a Language Arts Teacher at Faith Middle School in Fort Benning, Georgia. She is a 2016 ASCD Emerging Leader and the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year. She is also the Continuous School Improvement Chair for her school. She is an Army veteran and a proud graduate of the University of Maryland University College and the University of Phoenix where she earned her Educational Specialist degree.