For the past two weeks I have been meeting with teachers to review their yearly professional and spiritual goals and to see if there is anything I can do to assist them with these goals. After each meeting I am so humbled and inspired by the great things our teachers are doing to improve student learning. Each summer we read a book based on a current educational practice. This past summer teachers could choose from 3 books – Flip Your Classroom by Bergman and Sands, Grading and Learning by Brookhardt, or Teaching With the Tools Kids Really Use by Brooks-Young. About 1/3 of the teachers chose each book so there are a variety of activities, learning, and collaboration that is taking place.
Our St. Patrick teachers have done so much to incorporate what they read over the summer into their classrooms. Teachers are introducing their students to new technologies, strategies, tools, and philosophies. Some teachers are beginning to use the idea of the flipped classroom. Flipping your classroom means the teacher prepares a lesson that the students watch the night before – watching the lesson is their homework. The next day they come into school ready to ask questions, receive clarification, or move onto the next topic. The teacher has time to work in small groups with students who need extra help and this allows teachers to give individual and differentiated instruction. This is not a technique that we would employ all the time, but it does change up the learning style and it also helps the students become active instead of passive learners.
The teachers at St. Pat’s are continually working on becoming better teachers! I am so lucky and blessed to work with such a wonderful group of professionals – they are life-long learners – and, they are great people! Go Warriors!