Monday, February 2, 2015

Ever had one of those weeks?

This last week has been one of the most stressful of the school year.  Crazy busy from 6 AM until 8 PM almost everyday, coming home and doing school work, and having to be a care provider to my beloved wife.  During this time, I'll be honest, I thought about simply going back to the old "stand up and lecture" method because it's easier and I felt like I could just use a couple of days of simple conversation.  Then I got to school and looked at the kids working on problems they would not be able to do if they had not been in a flipped classroom and that all changed.  That, and talking to my students and hearing them say "we are happier when we have a chance to talk through problems than in a normal lecture class."  This only happens because I anticipate the questions the students have from the video lecture, based on their questions, and go from there.  This was the motivation I needed.  Also, during my non-math based class I decreased the amount of Q & A time for one class and gave them more hands-on activities and reversed it for the other section of the same class because that is what the students in those classes wanted.  Again, this is not something that could have been done in a traditional lecture class.  I have also given back in to having the students in my lower physics class watch videos in class and do work afterward.  This helps the students who are not as motivated stay engaged and the students who work ahead by watching the videos the night before, can get ahead and do other things.  This has been a god send that would not have been possible in a traditional lecture class and a realization that saved me from the easy fall back to lecture trap I nearly fell into.
Also, in my other position I had the opportunity to observe teachers and talk about how their classroom works.  While I absolutely love this opportunity it did take my prep hours away, which needless to say added more stress to my week and an additional half hour to my morning.
So, you would think this would be enough but I am also the primary care giver to my beautiful wife.  She has numerous disability issues and, while fighting through them all, is the most positive person I know.  She has been struggling with her independence lately and I am trying to be there for her, along with attempting to do all of the other things in my professional life.  Thank goodness I have started jogging again so I can find some time to relax and reflex.  This will be a constant battle ground I must tread and hopefully I won't set off too many mines.
So, if you finished this post I thank you for reading my ramblings.  Please feel free to comment.  Thanks for reading!

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