In a classroom, there is a lot of diversity. Not just in student’s learning styles, but also in their home situation and level of learning. In today’s classrooms, students receive the same instruction, at the same time, and at the same level. There is no differentiation in the instruction. I saw this in my own instruction. I would try to have differentiation when my students would come to me for small group, but that did not give me enough time to work with my students. So I researched extensively until I came upon blended learning, and the flipped classroom and station rotation models were the ones that stuck out to me the most. These two models will provide my students a more personalized instruction by getting more teacher time with me. Station rotation also provides the benefit where they can take ownership in their learning.
Trying to change the learning environment is not easy. There are many hurdles that you have to jump over. Such as:
- Student setbacks- students not watching the instructional videos at home or do not have opportunities to watch the instructional videos
- Parent Involvement
I have spent time thinking about how I can make sure the hurdles above are not a hindrance in the implementation. Through my research, I have found when teachers a properly trained and have a support system, they are more successful. It is necessary for a teacher to receive continuous training on the subject. Training does not end at the beginning of the year, it goes into the year through the end of the year and continues into the summer to get ready for the upcoming year. Having a support system, where people are going through the same joys and struggles makes the implementation better. A support group is necessary where teachers can go to talk to one another and collaborate with another by creating lessons/videos together. Throughout my research, I was unable to find information on making sure that parents are also supportive of this new initiative. Even though there are no references on this, it is important to make sure that parents are aware of how the flipped classroom and station rotation works. A fellow colleague stated that a parent’s perspective is very important. They may perceive this innovation as teachers being lazy and not wanting to teach students, however, that is not the perception we want parents to have. So, it is vital for them to know how it works and why it is beneficial to students. I propose to have constant communication with parents before school starts and throughout the year. The other hurdle I noticed was about the instructional video and making sure students are able to watch them. There is an easy solution to this. Set a system where students are able to watch the videos at home, be at the beginning of the school day, after school, or during the school day (during specials, such as music, art, library, etc.). This is easily accomplished because the instructional videos are not going to be longer than five minutes. These are the solutions that I will implement to overcome the expected hurdles.
With my innovation plan and professional development timeline, I hope to get administrators, students and parents on board and ready for this change. I have done extensive research through a literature review and other academic works, to figure out how I could make sure I have solutions to the hurdles I have encountered. Implementing a flipped classroom with station rotation, will not only benefit students, but it will also benefit the district.