Do you struggle with making sure every teacher-student interaction has a purpose? Do you feel like you have enough interactions with your students each day? Do you want more meaningful conversations with your students? Do you want to make your school year awesome?
As I write this many of you are immersed in your summer break (so am I). It is a time of rejuvenation. Yet it is also a time of reflection. How can we make our classes better? And on top of all of that, we all just went through and to some extent are still going through a pandemic that upended all of education. So if you are reading this now, I want to encourage you to take time for yourself and recharge your batteries this summer if you haven’t already.
If you are at the reflection stage, then let me give you some ideas on how you can supercharge your teacher-student interactions. This article is one in a series where we will discuss how you can make mastery learning a reality. In this series, I am sharing how I, and thousands of other teachers, have transformed classrooms into a place where every student succeeds. In my previous articles, I gave an overview of Mastery Learning, then we learned that you don’t have to lecture to the whole class at the same time ever again, how to create a flexible pace for other students, and Extreme Differentiation that Doesn’t Drive You Crazy. If you haven’t yet read the other articles, I encourage you to go back so you can see the progression of how to do Mastery Learning well.
Time is the Key
Because I teach using the Flipped-Mastery model, I use upwards of 90% of my class time interacting with students, either individually or in small groups. I spend that time listening to students and asking questions of me or their peers, formatively assessing them constantly. I’m not sure how I would have as many purposeful conversations with students unless I used Flipped-Mastery. The time-shifting of direct instruction frees me up to really help students.
Switching your Brain Quickly is Essential
Most Flipped Class teachers would also concur with the time element, but with Mastery Learning there is a twist. Since students are moving through the curriculum at slightly different paces, I have to be ready for students who are at…