Sounds awful right? It's the sort of thing that teachers, most of the time including myself , hate to do, especially on a Monday night the week before exams from 6-8pm.
I was great though for 3 pretty solid reasons:
- Explaining what I do in the classroom and what makes our school unique as well isn't me spinning a yarn, it was just the truth, and I realized again tonight as I talked about it, how lucky I am to be at the school I am, teaching the kids that I teach. When you see the excitement reflected in their faces, or when you say that you believe in having the kids create more than sit and listen and the parents and the kids get visibly enthused, it excites you as a teacher again.
- For some reason I 'm not very clear on, I had 5-6 parents of my current students there. I'm not sure why as I thought it was all about the new ones, but I am very glad they came. I'll elaborate a bit more below.
- My teaching buddy from my last school showed up tonight (his son goes to our school). That alone was enough to make my night. I love my new colleagues, but teaching with a friend that you know would help you hide a corpse is a much different thing. (that's a joke..., the corpse part, not the friend part....ah well, nm).
To elaborate on #2, I, like some of my #flipclass colleagues have felt a bit hammered down by the negativity about it of late. Like my good twitter friend @bennettscience , I took a few days off of twitter. Coupling that with getting sick last week about the same time as the negativity hit and missing two days of school was devastating. At the end of last week I was just beat down, physically, emotionally, and other allys. I was having these feelings that all of the talk about my classroom, the newspaper article and such was all just smoke and mirrors, that I really wasn't lighting the world on fire, or even striking a match.
Well, I'm probably not lighting the world on fire in any case, but the parents I talked to tonight really lifted me back up. Let me just briefly note that I teach Chemistry, often a reviled class, and while I teach it at a STEM centered school, we are thought to have some parents with really, really high expectations.
But I had 5 or so parents just tell me how much their kids loved my class. That in and of itself is an accomplishment when you are used to telling people you teach Chem and watching them recoil like you are contagious or something.
What was really awesome though was two parents who spent 10 full minutes telling me how they appreciated the one on one nature of the #flipclass, how it has really been amazing for their daughter. The mom went on to tell me how she raves about #flipclass to all of her friends who have kids in other schools. She said she directs them to my videos, but knows that it is about what goes on in class. There was a bit about how kids in a lot of other chem classes that don't work like mine are literally crying in frustration, but that her daughter never does, because she knows if she doesn't get it that I will be there for her and not only able to help but wanting to help.
Not much to say after that, other than to make sure I send that parent an email and thank them for the much needed boost at this time of the year!