Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a fabulous week and are preparing to enjoy the weekend! After coming back from ISTE earlier this week, and wrapping up one of my summer school classes, I’m starting to embrace the wonderful feeling that comes with not having to set an alarm clock before bed. AHHHHHHH! I hope you’re ready for the second installment in the “F.I.E.R.C.E. Teacher” series because it’s HERE!
Like you, I have many goals as a teacher – heck, as a person – that I not only want to accomplish, but also want to embody for my students, young daughters, and others who may look to me as an example – talk about pressure! Let’s talk about being innovative and intentional in our classrooms!
We hear the word innovative all over the world of education, but what does being “innovative” mean? According to Webster’s dictionary, the term innovative is defined as,
introducing or using new ideas or methods
having new ideas about how something can be done
I like to think that I’m at least approaching the level of “innovative” in my classroom. I’m constantly seeking out new ways to engage my students in our content, enhance the learning environment, and make learning memorable. However, the definition of innovative includes “introducing or using new ideas or methods” and “having new ideas about how something can be done.” The definition itself implies that, to be innovative, we’re always looking for a new method or strategy to use in circumstances to make something better. Therefore, to achieve my goal of being an innovative educator, I’ll continue to constantly learn about, search for, and attempt to create new and, forgive me, “innovative” ways to make my students’ learning experience awesome. Sometimes, new ideas and strategies may work, while others may be an absolute flop. Part of being innovative is knowing that when you do something a different way, it may not work, which means it’s time to try something else. The point is to continue to try new strategies with the best interest of my students in mind.
We have such a limited amount of time with our students during a given school year. As a high school teacher, I see my students 50 minutes per day, 5 days a week … most of the time. There are plenty of interruptions that subtract from my instructional time – assemblies, class meetings, field trips, sporting events, and the list goes on. Therefore, it’s my goal to be intentional about our valuable face-to-face time as a class. How do we accomplish the goal of limiting distractions as much as possible in the classroom?
Flipping my classroom has helped me to become more intentional with my class time while reducing the amount of time I stand in front of my classroom talking “at” my students. Through my in-class flip, I’m able to effectively and efficiently deliver necessary content to my students while providing more individualized instruction AND preserving precious face-to-face time. My flip forces me to be intentional when I’m delivering content; intentional when I’m providing help and feedback; intentional when I’m designing lessons. I hope this message also resonates with my students –> I want them to know what is expected in Petty Wap’s class, where they’re going with their learning, and how to get there.
I’d love to hear how you push yourself to be innovative and intentional in your classroom!