The Third Hurdle to Flipping Your Class

1timeThis post is a continuation on my series of the Four Biggest Hurdles to Flipping Your Class.  I began the series with a discussion about the biggest hurdle:  Flipping the thinking of the educator.  Before a teacher flips, they must be convinced that there must be a better way than the didactic method of lecture, notes, test.  You can read more about this hurdle here.  The second hurdle is the technology hurdle.  Teachers must have the knowledge, training, and expertise to navigate the technology hurdle.  You can read about that here.

The third hurdle to flipping your class is TIME.

I get it, teachers are overworked and do not have enough time to do the things assigned to them now.  When they first encounter the flipped classroom model, many feel that it will require too much.  It seems like one more thing to do.  They have to not only grade papers, create engaging lessons, call parents, meet with students, and attend meetings, but now they’re supposed to create and/or curate all of these flipped learning objects (usually videos) too.  Argh!

To this, all I can say is yes, it does take extra time.  I realize that I am encouraging teachers to work harder and longer.  But the rewards will be great.  Students’ learning will increase and they will become more engaged.  You will get to know your students better both cognitively and affectively.

That said, and this is where I see administrators can jump in help.  There are ways for a school to give teachers time.  I have seen too many schools with too many initiatives.  Some call it Initiative Fatigue.  If a school were to really embrace flipped learning, the built in staff PD time could be focused on implementing flipped learning.  If a school has Professional Learning Teams, this would be a great use of that time.  See my post about Flipping the PLT time. Another way administrators can give back time to those teachers who want to flip is to hire substitute teachers for a day.  What if your principal hired two substitute teachers and you and a colleague spent the day creating flipped video content? There are also other ways to “give” teachers time.  Do you need two teachers in every room when you are doing state testing?  Could teachers be released to work on flipped learning projects?  If there are two teachers who are implementing flipped learning, could they be given common planning time to work and prepare the content?

Aaron Sams and I once worked with a district which won a grant whereby teachers were paid extra money if they worked for the grant.  The grant was to implement mastery learning (especially the flipped-mastery model).  They realized that time was the critical variable.  So each teacher who was in the program clocked their hours making flipped content and they were paid some extra money for their work.

Ultimately, the issue of time comes down to priorities.  What a school emphasizes is what gets done.  So, for those administrators reading this, I encourage you to make flipped learning a priority and then you will find ways to give teachers the time necessary to implement this with excellence.  And for those teachers who don’t have that luxury, all I can say is that if you invest the time, you will reap great benefits.

For those of you who have flipped your class, how have you overcome the time hurdle?  Answer in the comment section below.

9 Responses

  1. Lisa Casto

    Totally agree Jon. There is never enough time, and we can’t find more! We just have to get cre five. Districts and campuses can find ways to support teachers who are innovating for student success. In Allen, we have common planning time district wide. We prioritize our budget to allow for subs or off contract pay for teachers involved in flipped. On the other end, we expect them to show progress with student success and share/teacher other teachers.

  2. Craig M.

    Derrick McNeill from George Washington High School in Denver records his videos on his lunch break, as evidenced by the occasional micro belch. He uses his whiteboard and the webcam on his school Macbook. My guess is that he’s never done any post production on his videos, but he knows his content extremely well. His videos are short and to the point. Where he gets time to manage his website (http://ipodphysics.com) is another question entirely.

  3. Pam

    I’ve recently started flipping my high school classes, and I’m the only one doing so at my school. So the extra time is all up to me. It’s overwhelming this year, but I tell myself that next year will be much easier since I can then focus on tweaking content I’ve already created.

    I feel that sharing the burden of creating videos would be difficult because it’s important to me that I create my own. I’m not sure my students would respond as well if half of their video lessons had my neighbor’s voice and teaching style. Having some extra time built into my day would certainly be helpful.

      1. Jennifer Pinkerous

        Pam: I am in the same boat! Except, I don’t even have a neighbor or partner to work with. I am the only Chemistry Teacher in my district and many of the teachers are not accepting of this way of teaching.

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  5. Diane Walters

    Last year I started to experiment with flipping. I teach Information Technology at the high school level. I found that it actually helped me to speed up my curriculum. I was able to cover more material then I covered the previous year. I am fortunate that a lot of videos already exist for my topic area. I was able to utilize videos that I found online or had paid access to. It did take me more time to redo the lesson plans the first year and create questions for students to answer as they watched the videos. This year that work has been done.

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