Although this skill is essential, it is one that can sometimes limit me. Especially when I start to think about what I do.
I wrote about this back on this post a while back about the labels that we might associate with teachers based on the content they teach using The Breakfast Club as a reference. I was inspired by Andy Losik's opening keynote at the Jackson County ISD Unconference (which is happening again this year on April 18th). As I reflect on it now, I think the same goes not just for the content teachers teach, but also how they teach it.
As I scroll through various Social Media sites, I come across teachers who will say - "My classroom is blended" or "My classroom is flipped" or "My classroom is PBL" or "My classroom is TAB" or "My classroom is Choice Based" or "My classroom is Student Centered" or "My classroom is Modified Choice" or "My classroom is DBAE" or... there are so many variations, that the list can go on and on.
I have claimed several of these labels for myself over the years as well as different variations of them. After several conversations with other teachers and a real review over my work this semester and the work of my students, I have decided that I am not only one of those labels listed above.
Just like the end of The Breakfast Club, I am finding that it is not as simple as a singular label. I can find things I identify within my classroom as a little bit of each of the classroom models. Sometimes I feel comfortable enough to put my students in complete control, other times they follow directed instruction, and then there are the times when I have lost my voice and I let the video I posted to Schoology take my place. This ability to be flexible is something I rely on and if I placed myself in the container of just one way of doing things I would trap myself and limit what is possible.
It is hard sometimes to let go of labels because they help sort and organize life and what I do within it, but it is also too confining to prescribe just one of those methodologies to my classroom and expect it to work each time.
I know what works for me. If I could give my classroom a label, I really am not sure what I would call it. Maybe Flexible Learning (FL)? Do you have any good ideas on how you might label your classroom?