IScreen Shot 2013-10-20 at 1.12.18 PM‘ve been impressed by the Flipped Learning Concept from the moment I saw my first Khan Academy video. My son, who has a gift for mathematics, was in the fifth grade at the time and we had several years of well intentioned mathematics instruction behind us. We knew we were coming to a particularly crucial point in his education as he got ready for his middle school years. During his 6th grade year, he sat in a classroom with a pre-algebra book, largely teaching himself, while the teacher conducted the regular 5th grade math lesson for the rest of the class. Thank you Samuel Khan for coming to the rescue. We spent evenings watching instructional videos and his class time was spent working on math problems with little interruption to the teacher for clarification.

Fast forward a few years and I’m impressed by my teacher colleagues who have adopted this approach to teaching by personalizing their own flipped instruction using resources such as Google Docs, Show Me, YouTube, Screencast-o-Matic and SnagIt. As a principal and instructional leader who appreciates how valuable my staff’s time is, I have decided to embrace the concept of Flipping Professional Development. Rather than using our staff meetings for presentations, resources on information on the professional development topic will be shared with staff prior to the meeting and the time will be used for staff to collaborate on improving their professional practice.
The next staff meeting/professional development session will focus on collecting baseline data and writing baseline statements for IEPs. Information and resources will be shared via a Google Presentation prior to the meeting with the expectation that staff will review the materials prior to the professional development session and with the hope that they find the material relevant and worth their time.
With a nod to walking the walk when it comes to baseline data, a Google Form will be sent to staff prior to the session to collect data on their opinions to participating in a Flipped PD model. The data will be presented at the beginning of the staff meeting. The meeting will end with a post session survey collecting data on staff’s opinion regarding their participation in the Flipped Model Session. With gratefulness to those who have gone before me and shared examples of what has gone well as well as what didn’t work, I have prepared our first Flipped PD session.
For those of you reading this blog who are already flipping instruction and PD sessions, I invite you to leave comments about your successes as well as what you’ve learned from when it didn’t go as expected. I believe the most valuable part of this post could end up being found in the comments section as we share our experiences.

Posted by Pam Gildersleeve-Hernandez


  1. I have been Flipping Professional Development and Faculty Meetings at my school since January of 2013. I find that we are able to have deep rich conversations about the topics we are discussing/learning. Teacher are given time to reflect and think about what they think or need to learn. They have time to think about questions that drive to the root of their inquiry.

    One key to Flipping the content is providing teachers with at least three to five days to preview the content.

    A second important key is to structure the PD/meeting for collaborative work and discussion. Providing time for teachers during the PD/meeting to talk to each other and share with other groups what their group discussed enhances the learning opportunity.

    A third key is to use collaborative tools such as GDocs, Edmodo, & TodaysMeet to be able to backchannel the conversation during the PD/meeting and archive the discussions for everyone to reflect back on what was said (even by people who were unable to attend the PD/meeting).

    The last key component to Flipping PD/meeting is the follow up conversations and reflections. I use the “Exit Ticket” system to get feedback from the faculty about the PD/meeting. I also follow up with short visits during teacher’s planning period to talk to them and let them know what I heard/learned from them during the PD/meeting.

    I don’t think I can ever go back to the old way of “sit and get” PD/meetings. I’ll admit it takes a lot of planning to properly Flip PD/meetings. Preparing for collaborative strategies and planning the higher order questions for the PD/meetings take time, but isn’t that what we ask teachers to do everyday with our students?

    Flipping the PD/meeting is a great way to model and put into practice what we hope to see in our classrooms.



    1. Brian, These are great words of advice. What kind of topics have you covered with your staff this past year? I’d love to know more about how you’re using the “Exit Ticket” system. I’ve put together a Google form for feedback and use Poll Everywhere with staff, but am always open to more ideas.



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