Engage in professional growth and leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.
a. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning
The professional development available on social media makes teaching in today’s digital age exciting. When I started researching how to implement a flipped classroom, teachers who were already actively creating and using videos for their own students offered advice, shared stories and provided support in order to make my goals a reality. I am currently active in an Edmodo group for teachers who use the same textbook that I use, a Ning group to offer suggestions about flipped teaching and a Pinterest group that gathers lesson plans and ideas. These learning communities allow me to provide more authentic learning activities to engage my students.
I use Twitter more than any other tool to connect with other educators in order to learn how technology is being used in the classroom. The state of Missouri has many creative, enthusiastic teachers who are constantly posting ideas or words of encouragement. I enjoy learning through #MOedchat. While this group of teachers often posts words of encouragement for best practices in the classroom, they often share tech ideas, as well. In addition to #MOedchat, there is also a group of language teachers primarily in Europe who share tech ideas. We follow each other and share our successes, ask questions and learn from each other. Even though these teachers are thousands of miles away, they are often as helpful as those teachers who teach down the hall.
By serving on our building’s “Greek Squad”, I have helped to foster awareness for the technology solutions that can help teachers to more effectively teach, reinforce and assess. This group of technologically savvy teacher-leaders is responsible for providing monthly PD during lunch. “Food Friday” has offered teachers quick lessons on how to use technology such as Google Docs, Schoology, Smart Notebook, Social Media and much more. It is our task to determine teachers’ needs and develop presentations to meet those needs.
Artifact: Presentation: Games in the Classroom
Likewise, I have served to help our district to determine technology goals Pre-School through high school, as well as provide input for technology needs across the district. By serving on the Francis Howell School District’s Technology committee, I worked with fellow teachers, board members, administrators and community members to determine the current reality, as well as the focus of the future regarding technology in our schools. I have enjoyed sharing how I actively engage my students during our Annual Tech Fest.
Artifact: Twitter Feed after FHSD Tech Fest
c. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning
I am a strong believer in the need for teachers to help fellow teachers. I am willing to try new things with my students, and when I find something that works, I am eager to share. Likewise, my connections to teachers through Facebook, Twitter, Edmodo and Pinterest have proved invaluable for discovering new, more effective classroom activities. Through my professional blog, I have been able to reflect on the practices that have worked, the improvements that I could have made, as well as the successes that my students and I have enjoyed. My professional blog not only acts as a reflective tool for me, but it also serves to help other teachers who are wanting to learn how to integrate different technology tools or different learning practices in their classrooms.
Artifact: Food Friday METC Presentation
d. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community
In 2011, when I decided to adopt the flipped classroom model, I was considered a pioneer in our district. I was the first to make my own classroom videos and to develop a successful classroom. As with the implementation of any new classroom movement, I learned my fair share of lessons along the way. After making several introductory presentations to district administrators and board members, I was asked to submit a manuscript to the School Administrator’s Magazine. In 2013, my manuscript was published. Subsequently, I was contacted by teachers around the world who, likewise, saw this teaching method as a way of making learning more effective. I continue to offer professional development in our local district as well as at regional conferences in order to help teachers to adopt flipped teaching. From creating the content to including effective reinforcement, I am active in helping teachers every step of the way.
I am often asked to present what I have done with flipped learning. I have presented to teachers in my building and in my district, as well as METC and at the state Foreign Language Conference. Flipped learning results in tremendous student success when done correctly, but teachers often have questions on how to make flipped learning successful. Creating the videos used to teach the content is only part of the process. There is much more to running a flipped classroom such as cooperative learning, project based learning and effective communication.
Artifact: Flipped Classroom Presentation