A Flopping Flip: School’s Not Hip

teach·er

ˈtēCHər/

noun

  1. A person who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession; instructor

Some of the most influential people are our teachers. They inspire us to do more and be more. Teachers are the ones who help us learn — well, it is their job! — and develop life skills.

But what if a teacher stopped teaching?

“Flipped classrooms” are becoming more prominent in today’s schools. It is exactly what it sounds like: a flipped or reverse class. Instead of teaching during classes, students are to do the learning at home. School then becomes time for homework and questions.

Since the start of my high school career, I’ve been in two flipped classrooms. The first: honors biology. Then: honors chemistry.

Biology class was the worst high school experience I’ve gone through. My teacher was the sweetest person, but her class was the opposite. To start, there would be 50+ pages of notes to copy down for each chapter. Then, she would read off the slide verbatim. After passing out homework packets for classwork, she would return to her desk and skitter away at her computer.

Chemistry was somewhat different, though. There were lectures online that had to be watched at home. Homework and other papers were given out and worked on in class. Meanwhile, the teacher sat at his desk, tapping and clicking, endlessly staring at his computer.

Questions were always welcome and answered. That wasn’t the issue. The problem was the non-teaching part. You know, where I had to practically teach myself and learn on my own?

That’s not how it works! Flipped classrooms are not beneficial. I was *this* close to dropping out of honors bio because I was doing terrible and learning nothing. My grades suffered because I suffered. It was an unpleasant experience that made me cry quite frequently throughout the year.

Schools today just don’t seem to be the same. Change is a common trend that often goes around. Changing the style of how classrooms are run seems to be popular. Changing what is being taught is also becoming common. Now, it is no longer required that cursive be taught in schools.

I learned to write in cursive when I was in the third grade. My loopy letters turned into flowing swirls, as I practiced frequently. If children are not being taught cursive, how will they sign checks? Are we planning to get rid of checks soon, since kids don’t know how to sign their own names?

Knowing how to write in cursive is a life skill; many people write in cursive today. If you can’t write it, how will you read it? The upcoming kiddos won’t be able to read Grandma’s birthday card because she writes her birthday wishes in cursive.

Unless Buddy can read cursive, he won’t know that Grandma loves him so much!

Another thing that is being implemented is online testing. The PARCC testing has been done away with due to high unpopularity. I can speak from experience when I say: good riddance! Not only were the tests difficult to use, but they were hard to understand. As a sophomore, I had to take the practice PARCC geometry test. Throughout the duration of the test, I was severely confused. I couldn’t find the online calculator or ruler; the directions and instructions couldn’t help me find them. Not only that, but the test itself was confusing. I was being tested on materials I hadn’t even been taught yet!

Today, schools are trying to change things as advancements in technology come about. As Ellen Glasgow said, “all change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” Let’s start thinking about the kids and how they’d feel about all this ‘good’ change. Let’s start with making smart decisions. Let’s start changing for the progression of a better tomorrow.