Flipped PD Update

It has been a week, and it is time for a Flipped PD update. When I last wrote about this, only 4 people had finished the online learning component. After a follow-up email the next day from myself and another from my principal, and given the extra two days to account for procrastination, at the start of the face-to-face session, 70 of my teachers had completed the online!

Wednesday’s session arrived, and the teachers made their way to the Media Center. Many questioned if I could fit everyone in the Media Center. “Yup. I got this,” I told them.

In my not-so-humble opinion, it was a huge success. I started the time off by checking people in and pointing them to one of the four stations:

  • Discipline in the respectful classroom
  • ELL strategies for daily use
  • How do we motivate the unmotivated?
  • Fostering a growth mindset
  • Canvas: Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned So Far

For teachers that didn’t complete the online course, I sent them to my office, with its wide-open windows looking out on the EdCamp, to have their remedial session. The group was not enthused about sitting and listening to me for a half hour, but truthfully, that was the point, so it’s ok!

Meanwhile, the EdCamp was in full swing. I designated a facilitator for each group from the instructional support team. I told them again that they weren’t expected to be experts or drive the discussion, just keep it moving in an orderly fashion. As I walked around after the remedial session, I saw learning happening everywhere. Much of the formal structure had broken up in places, but instead of leaving, the teachers made their own smaller groups and continued the discussions started in the EdCamp sessions. Everywhere I looked, people were talking!

One of the best comments I got came from our Math Coach. Seeing me about a half-hour into the event, he stopped me and said:

I came in a little late because I was at bus duty, and things were already going. And I have to tell you, the atmosphere in this room is different, and better, than anything we’ve ever done. It just feels good in here.

As I said before, I have a constant feedback form available. The day after the EdCamp, I emailed the staff saying thank you for attending, and remember that you can fill out the form. It consists of four simple questions:

  1. What session are you submitting feedback about?
  2. Do you like the Flipped PD model so far?
  3. What percentage of what you’ve learned will you attempt to use in your classroom?
  4. Any additional feedback?

The results were overwhelmingly positive. This I think gives a good snapshot:

You’ll notice the large decrease in the number of people who thought little of it was useful and the large increase in those that though the vast majority of it was useful.

Overall, I’m saying this was a success. However, as was the plan, this blog isn’t just meant to show the positive. So, I have created a shared Google Doc that contains all of the feedback and comments I’ve received regarding this process so far. In addition, I will comment on this post with some of the more poignant teacher comments.

4 Replies to “Flipped PD Update

  1. While I don’t feel like this comment is necessarily reflective of my Flipped PD experiment, it was one of the first ones I received and thought was worth sharing. Remember, all comments are submitted to me anonymously.

    “It’s not that I don’t WANT to attempt to use this model, it’s that I don’t have the time to plan it so that it will work the way it needs to work, targeting the necessary outcomes/learning goals for my students. There are SO MANY OTHER THINGS that have been laid on our plates already for this year, much of it just within these first two weeks, that I am already feeling overwhelmed. Wait, I’m supposed teach and grade? When, exactly? I’m too busy being asked to do specific daily lesson plans that change on a regular basis because of code of conduct reviews, and letting kids out 10 minutes early because it’s raining. Quite honestly, if anyone else asks me to take on another directive, makes something else mandatory, or instructs me to try something new, I think I might just turn in my keys and walk away for good. And I didn’t just “fall off the turnip truck” as they say; I’ve been around a good long while. Morale among my peers is extremely low and no one in the upper echelon seems to take notice or care that we’re being treated unprofessionally and run into the ground. It’s too much all at one time; teachers are being pulled in too many directions and nothing is getting done well. Who gets hurt…the students.”

  2. This was I thought a good example of constructive criticism, and I will take it into consideration in the future.

    “The only reason I don’t like the flipped PD is because it takes up even more of my planning time. We already give up more than an hour of planning to attend the PD meetings and, since we often have to plan outside our workday already, asking us to give up more planning time to do pre-meeting things is just too much.
    I did like the EdCamp format. It was nice to be able to give/get some ideas and then be able to move on to something else. I think we could have cut it from 1 hour to 45 minutes.”

  3. Last one I’ll share. Feel free to read the full embedded document in the post for more. This one made me feel good though, so I want to share it.

    “I didn’t think this would be a productive way to get the answers I wanted from this meeting, but it really worked well once we got going. I loved hearing people ask the same questions I had and listening to others who could answer them. I don’t think it would be effective in the classroom unless the students had a passionate interest about the subject. It seems like an interest would be necessary to drive the discussion.”

  4. I absolutely love the flipped PD and edcamp models. Flipped PD is excellent for getting deeper and more meaningful discussions, rather than just dropping a topic on everyone at the time and expecting them to produce a lively conversation!
    The Edcamp model works really well, especially if you have good moderators.
    The feedback is fantastic and it seems the majority of the faculty are really on board. As for the comments on it being another drain on time, I do sympathise, and I agree that teaching is becoming more and more time consuming. But Edcamps and Flipped PD’s are not the parts that are irrelevant time-wasters. Take it out on something else!!!

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