So my weekend started off pretty sweet. Thursday night a huge snow storm came through Michigan, and we got the notice that school was closed the night before. That rarely happens. Then on Friday my class was featured on our local news station as being the classroom of the week. If you're interested, you can see the short spot here. Then Saturday, I attended (and helped plan) the 3rd MIFlip conference, and it didn't disappoint. I was fully prepared for there to be a small crowd, since the weather in west Michigan was brutal the day before. As it turns out, we had over 70 people attend.
Steelcase was nice enough to host the conference at their Education Center...holy smokes is that an awesome facility! I kept trying to talk them into furnishing my room for me (for free of course), and I got no takers ;) Seriously, though, the venue was beautiful, and perfect for encouraging a collaborative feel.
David Tebo was our keynote speaker and he was unbelievably inspiring. A few things he said that really stuck with me were: Flipping done right is an incredible tool...notice he said flipping done right. That one little word is so hugely important. The second thing he mentioned was that we need to change the way we're doing things. Time has changed, but schools haven't. In my district we are going completely mastery based, eliminating seat-time from our graduation requirements. We are still in the very early stages of this process. As of now we're at a point where the teachers are being asked to real go outside of their comfort zone & people are uncomfortable...really uncomfortable. It was reassuring to hear someone outside of Kenowa Hills talk about what we're trying to do in such a positive way.
After the keynote I led an elementary session. I didn't plan any sort of presentation because I was hoping that we could have more of a discussion. It turns out that was a good plan because we had a great discussion and everyone had an opportunity to ask questions.
I spent pretty much the remainder of my afternoon working with David Fouch, a high school AP teacher from Forest Hills. We had this grand plan to do something collaboratively, and we tried to work through some of the details together. I will have a whole other blog post on that coming up, but I think it's going to be excellent!
To sum it up, I had another great experience at MIflip. I am always surprised by how much I learn, grow & get energized when I get together with other educators in a positive environment like this :)