Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Control Freak in the Flipped Classroom

I've rearranged my room.  Not any easy thing for me to do.  I really don't like the look of it and the fact that students are in groups.  Pedagogically and with the new flipped class, I know that this is the best set up.  However, I have been teaching for the last 15 years with all students in rows and facing forward.  If I saw that someone wasn't paying attention, I could easily give him or her a stern look and get their immediate attention.

In two of my courses, I have given "week at a glance" sheets with activities, assignments and tutorials for them to complete within this time frame.  While this is allowing for students to go at their own pace, it is also organized chaos.  Some are calling and leaving me a message in the hallway, some need to use the computers in the language lab to watch a tutorial or to fill out a Google Form, some are working on activities, some are working one on one or in small groups with me, or they are on one of the computers in my room working on their activities.  When I'm not working one on one, I am circulating the room checking their progress, making sure they stay on task, making sure they are speaking in the target language, etc.

I've stated this before and I'll say it again, one of my biggest obstacles to overcome has been myself and my controlling nature.  I liked the neatness of the traditional classroom, of moving from one activity and transitioning nicely into the next.  I liked the rows of students with them looking directly at the board.  I have found, though, that the flipped classroom offers so much more than the traditional classroom offers.  And that is why I am trying very hard to overcome my inner control freak.  I just need a clone of myself!