Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend MiFlip 2014, and it. was. awesome. Steve Kelley and Zach Creswell kicked off the keynote with the top 10 tips on flipping. The keynote was filled with great advice, and lots of humor. Some of my favorite lines were:
"Teachers teaching in isolation is a travesty."
"Can your students best work be found online? How about yours?"
"Everyone is trying to create the same stuff. That's dumb. Collaborate."
"If your comfortable with what you're doing in the classroom, then you're moving too slow."
"Create, borrow and share"
And my favorite...
"Tell your story, and if we don't have a story, then shame on us."
I think I could write a post about each and every one of these quotes.
I was also lucky enough to present with Erin Klein. To say it was an honor to share the podium with her is an understatement. She talked about her "internal" flipping that she does as centers in her classroom. My challenge now is trying to figure out how I can tweak that and make it applicable in my class of 5th graders.
So the keynote was awesome, presenting with Erin was awesome, but neither of those were my highlights of the day. My highlight came directly after lunch. As a member of the planning committee, we decided to have a student panel. One of the biggest worries many teachers have when beginning flipping is how will students/parents take it. So, I invited all the kids in my class, and 4 committed and showed up, parents in tow. I was so nervous...super nervous. You want to do something brave, put a bunch of your students on a panel to answer questions & tell them to be completely honest. Terrifying! I knew what I hoped they would say, but I had no idea what would actually come out of their mouths.
I was beyond proud of them and their answers. They handled themselves very professionally (at least as professionally as you can expect a 5th grader to handle themselves). They even wove some humor into their presentation. We finished our presentation a little early, so we joined in a session called "good teaching". When we went in, the group was discussing what you look for when hiring a teacher. They turned and asked my students and the students came up with some really insightful responses. They said that they wanted someone who was fun and would joke with them, and who was willing to try out new stuff because not everyone learns the same way. They even got a chance to talk about their Genius Hour projects, and their enthusiasm was contagious.
Just writing about the experience makes me smile...I am so proud of those kids.