Professional educator is just realizing you’re a long-life learner.

    The last pillar of the Flipped learning (FL)  is the professional educator (PE), why not the teacher? is something you would be asking at this moment. Well, the reason is simple, in FL role is different. The teacher's role in traditional methods is being the center of the learning process, it means that you are "in front" of the class giving knowledge, expecting students to understand the topics using the common activities to grade them because grades are the most important, there is usually no space to differentiate students' needs and learning styles. On the contrary, Professional Educator becomes a "coach" not the center of the process because he/she designs the class to make students the center and responsible for their learning.


 

    According to Flipped Learning Org. there are some important aspects that a PE should take into account the planning time, class interaction, assessment, and feedback. In addition, reflection, constructive criticism, instruction improvement, and chaos control are some professional issues that a PE must consider when implementing FL. As a result, her/his role is less visible during class time. 

    Once you decide to implement FL in your classes, you become a PE, because you are going to change what being a teacher is. The first aspect you will change is your mindset, you will realize that you never stop learning; implementing FL at the beginning could be a bit challenging, your plans may not work, so you need to adjust them. So, you will understand that mistakes are allowed including when you are the teacher. 

    The next aspect to be taken into account is the teacher's evaluation, but this time is not the one that institutions make to know how you are doing. This evaluation is done by you, how you could include self-assessment tools where you can realize how students are feeling in your class, how they are dealing with Autonomy's development. Another important aspect gives the opportunity for students to talk about the class, allow them to tell you what they like and what don't. Finally, your self-assessment. You should think and reflect on your practice and compare them with students' answers. 

    Another aspect to consider is materials development and design, you need to offer your students different opportunities through activities. In this part, you need to be aware of time because you will be spending lots of time designing classes and activities in order to enhance students' autonomy. As a result, you need to evaluate them all the time, this way you can improve your teaching practices. 

    Finally, the sense of community is important in Professional Educators, you should have a strong team to be supported by. If you decided to be a PE you should find partners who like sharing meaningful experiences in classes. As a result, you will have more ideas to implement in your classes. Building communities help you to grow as professionals and human beings. 

As a conclusion, professional educators are long-life learners since we move from the mistakes to greatest experiences, we are always looking for better ways to do things and teach better. In addition, we know that mistakes are part of the process, that failing is just one of learning, and if we are aware of those things, our students will learn that too, this helps us to create a flexible environment where the main purpose is learning together. 


Learning Culture

#Week2

Pillar two

This week’s discussion is about learning culture which gives great importance to the roles of the teacher and students in the teaching-learning process. Traditionally, the teacher is considered the unique source of knowledge and information and as a result becomes central in students learning. In this approach students play a sub role, being receptive and dependable on what the teacher provides. On the other hand, flipped learning, proposes students as central in their learning. They should be active in their knowledge construction and evaluation of their progress. They are the principal character in their learning, leaving the teacher on a side, as a guide who provides resources and tools and creates the environment where for students can learn and develop.

In the following lines I will share my thoughts and experience regarding the statements on pillar two. Then I reflect on learning culture and finally state some questions in relation to teaching following the flipped learning approach.

Firstly, I am going to share my experience about giving students opportunities to engage in meaningful activities without the teacher being central. I consider I provide the environment for students to get involved in activities which have purpose and that are important for their learning, however, I have just questioned myself about whether students see the value of the activities they engaged in. I came to the conclusion that making students aware of the relevance of the activities is vital to have them involved. I have come to the conclusion that I need to work more on scaffolding activities and make them accessible to students as well as to differentiate them and give feedback. I think that I usually provide student with materials, resources and activities to construct their learning, but I am missing the scaffolding part. I think that I have taken for granted that students would know what to do. I recognize I need to work on improving my feedback, because I usually give feedback on the results but on the process. I just wonder about the time I need to focus on individual needs of each of my students to keep track of them and give feedback. I guest this is easier to do when teaching individually than in groups.

In regard to learning culture, from my point of view, the discussion should not be about whether we are able to learn on our own or not, but about when it is possible or when it is not. I consider we are all able to self –teach, but there is a variety of elements which determine our success on this approach to learning. Some of these elements may be: interest in the subject, the complexity of the content and our aptitude on it, resources and even time. I think the first thing we need to want to learn on our own is interest on the subject, without interest we won’t put effort or time into it. Let’s imagine we are interested on a certain topic but, what will happen if the subject is complex by nature or I determine it as so because I do not have aptitude on it. I will need to be assisted in finding the right resources and process to learn about it because if we find ourselves capable we might keep going, however if we find it complex we might get demotivated and quit.

I believe in in self-teaching, but I also consider there are things we learn in community or partnership. I think, for example, of learning a language and I come to the conclusion that there are things I can learn and understand on my own, but there are others, which by nature need to be developed in group, for example, the speaking ability.

As a conclusion, I would like to question if people who preach flipped learning have learnt something following this approach. I wonder if we can teach in a way we have not experimented on our own. Would we be able to understand the processes our students go through and the difficulties they face if we haven’t self-learn anything?

Learning culture is about building communities, mindset and emotional intelligence.

    I have been and I will continue talking about Flipped Learning (FL) for some time, in the last post I was talking about the first pillar of  FL, flexible environment. The next pillar that you should take into account in you are considering to implement FL is Learning Culture (LC). If we consider the term culture, we could come up with traditions, customs, art, particularities, commonalities, etc. Then, add all the things that learning implies. Amazing, don't you think?

    In FL, Learning culture is finding a way to make our students the center of their learning process, allowing them to explore the topics during class times where they can have meaningful experiences. As a result, students are active actors while constructing knowledge, as well as more critical at the moment of participating and assessing their work  Flipped Learning Network (FLN). (2014) The Four Pillars of F-L-I-P™ Reproducible PDF can be found at www.flippedlearning.org/definition.

    My own definition.

    Learning culture is a set of learning and studying methods that come up when empowered students come together, explore topics, and construct knowledge (collaborative/cooperative work). In addition. growth mindset is developed since having a flexible environment, mistakes are allowed and normalized as part of the process, a create the habit of I can do it better instead of I can't do it. During this interaction, we can teach and learn emotional intelligence, because we can be more aware about students' emotions and to manage them when something it is not working. Based on this definition, let's discuss why LC is about building communities, mindet and emotional intelligence. 

  • BUILDING COMMUNITIES: Once we create our flexible environment, students can feel more relaxed about how to use their space, by doing so interaction Students - students and students -teacher is more friendly and closer, because teachers become a coach that support students, and among students that culture of cooperation and collaboration. As a consequent, they might imitate this organization and environment in other classes.Teachers can also share these positive experiences with their collegues creating a sharing culture like a tribe. 
Mujeres, Trabajo En Equipo, Equipo
  • MINDSET: When you are creating culture one of the things you should recognize is the mindset in your community members. That way you can give them another perspective about successful and failure, this way you can enhance mind changing and have a positive influence in your community. See Martha Ramirez. This concept is important while creating a learning and building communities, since most of us came from traditional schooling where the center is the teacher and he/she is the one who does everything. So, changing that notion of autonomous learning from the traditional one can a be difficulty for not only out students, but also for us as teachers (we sometimes love the center of the attention); these changes are directly related to growth mindset. 
  • EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: As we are creating our learning culture and building communities in our classrooms, our relations start changing so we can be more closer to our students, this helps us to know more about them, we can recognize their strengths and weaknesses, how recognize when they are happy or not. This is one of the advantages of Flexible Environment, you can include activities that allows students to recognize their feeling towards their process and how they can manage them (see another aspect related to mindset). Including this you students can be kinder and human, so you are not only teaching knowlege.  
Manos, Palabras, Significado, Los Dedos

            I hope that this can help you a bit in your flip journey, next week I'll be writing about intentional content.

stay safe