--Originally published at Flipped Learning
The fall semester is quickly coming to an end. This was the first semester in three years in which I had the opportunity to teach a math class. Naturally, I taught using Flipped Learning, a method of instruction and classroom engagement that I wholeheartedly believe in and share as often as I am able. Today I reflect upon what I've learned throughout the semester, as well as how I've grown as an educator in today's ever changing classroom environment.
Students continue to motivate me to want to be better. They help me stay on the top of my game in finding creative and innovative ways to engage them in math. While I realize most college students have a love/hate relationship with math, I am grateful that my approach to learning helps them see how math can be utilized to strengthen their employability skills for a career of choice. Through collaboration, problem solving, and perseverance, students slowly gained confidence in their abilities this semester.
Ever further, I recognized the continued need to help students feel safe and welcome in classroom environment - both in-person and online. The more I was able to connect with them and their interests, the more they came out of their shells and the more responsible they became. Students would email "Running late for tonight's class because...", or even drop me a voicemail to ask questions. It was as if the more I respected and trusted them as students, the more effort and commitment they gave to the class. The value I emphasized on character paid off in big ways.
Personally, I recognized the need to continue to find and adapt activities that would engage students in unique ways. Whether it was mystery problems to solve, teaching others at the white board, or passing the problem, students seemed to enjoy working on math differently using different strategies and activities. Therefore, I continue to connect with my PLN and see what others are doing that I might be able to adapt.
Lastly, I realized how much I missed being with students on a routine basis. Helping to create a sense of belonging while also helping students advocate for themselves is an element that I don't get to often engage in with my current role. I've realized that the passion I have for teaching hasn't gone away, rather it was just laying dormant temporarily. The more I engage with others, asking questions, sharing ideas, and learning how the landscape of tomorrow's classroom is evolving, the more I can tell my passion and heart lie in a classroom.