Internal Strife

Why do I question myself?

Today was one of those days that ended with a lot of personal reflection.  I heard a lot of comments and criticisms that disturbed me from both teachers and students.  After internalizing a little too much, the following questions kept popping up:
Why am I doing all of this?
Am I having the positive impact I think I am having?
Has my philosophy pendulum swung too far in the non-traditional direction?
Are my students going to be thoroughly prepared for future chemistry classes?
Is all of this in the best interest of my students?
Naturally I love to hear my students to say “I love B days because I get to come to chemistry.” and “I was so excited over the summer when I saw ‘Seigel’ printed on my schedule.”
But I still wonder if things wouldn’t be easier if I just did it like everyone else.

Addendum:
So I wrote and published the above last night.  Then this morning, after I had arrived at school, I was thinking about it more and had an epiphany which totally changed my mood.  This morning I was kind of in a dark place and for the first time this year, not excited about school, which made me more upset.  So I said to myself, literally out loud in the parking lot, “why do I let others empty my bucket?”  And that was it.  I smiled, stood up straighter and had to start whistling a song that had been stuck in my head (I am terrible with music so don’t ask me the name.  The tune is just very catchy).

I remembered that:

  • I have great kids this year.  We are comfortable with each other, laugh every class, and have no problem joking around.
  • I have tried completely non-traditional methods in my classroom and every one of them has been well received by the students, administration and parents.
  • The classroom is a warm, comfortable learning environment (as was expressed by my principal in my post-conference and in my observation) where every student, regardless of ability or desire, is welcomed.
  • In this space students are encouraged to Dare to Fail and given the support they need to do so in a collaborative working environment.
Why am I letting the petty stuff that others fling in my direction pull me down?
You want your class to only be for the elite? No problem. Send all the others my way.

In my our classroom, YOU can learn succeed
Simply Become Who You Are.
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3 thoughts on “Internal Strife

  1. Crystal Kirch

    I am so right with you on this and have asked the same questions many a times this year. I think it always comes down to our educational system and how well “trained” our students are to expect the traditional, spoon-fed approach. It's easier for them. They don't have to think as much or try as hard. We are challenging them in ways they don't necessarily want to be challenged, even though we see the benefit for them (maybe not now, but in the future). I think anything that really requires students to take responsibility for their learning, like the flipped classroom does, will help them in future classes no matter what. Those are skills that will benefit them.

    I think your post emulates what a lot of us flipped educators are thinking and feeling this year. We are completely going against the grain and it's not easy sometimes fighting against students, parents, and colleagues who don't see things the way we do.

    Keep working hard, stay focused on the positives, and believe that what you are doing is truly what is best for the students…because from what I know, what you are doing is truly awesome.

    Have a great night!

    Crystal

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  2. M Dyer

    No great words of wisdom as I am very new to the flipped classroom. Just wanted you to know that I relate to so many of your posts and appreciate that I am not alone. Thank you for your posts! (I wonder how it can be that I feel so isolated in my teaching philosophy from nearly the entire school. I think the school would consider me totally insane for some of my ideas. Having such a hard time finding like-minded educators!)

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  3. MSeigel

    What I have realized is people like us hide to avoid the negativity that can fly around a school. I can guarantee there are others like you out there. Just put out the positive vibes and let them find you. Also, if you are on Twitter, make sure to follow #flipclass for some more of those like-minded educators.

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