As flipped learning continues to grow, there is a greater need for flipped learning to scale beyond individual teachers flipping, to larger roll-outs with systemic planning and leadership. This post is the 6th out of 7 in a series. The previous posts were:
- Part 1: Scaling Flipped Learning: Technological Needs at Scale
- Part 2: Scaling Flipped Learning: Pedagogical Needs at Scale
- Part 3: Scaling Flipped Learning: Changing Evaluation Systems
- Part 4: Scaling Flipped Learning: Learning Spaces
- Part 5: Scaling Flipped Learning: Student Buy-In
- Part 6: Scaling Flipped Learning: Parent Buy-In
- Part 7: Scaling Flipped Learning: Teacher Buy-In
Sometimes students don’t always communicate with their parent’s accurate information about what is happening in school. If a child is struggling in class, they often look for something/someone to blame. Flipped learning can often be cited as a cause for those students. Some students will tell their parents, “my teacher is not teaching anymore.” Others will say, “I can’t learn in that system.” In addition to this is the reality that for most parents, the idea of flipped learning is new and many can be skeptical. Thus, it is imperative to communicate to parents why your school is embracing the flipped model.
Creative Communication Strategies
Flip Your Back to School Night
Have teachers flip back to school night (curriculum night) by creating short videos for parents to watch before the event. Then during the back to school night, have a discussion about the benefits and implementation of the model.
Host a Traditional Meeting
I worked with a school which embraced flipped learning, and they set up a series of meetings with parents. During the meeting they explained what flipped learning is, why they chose to implement it, and their next steps.
Flip Community-School Meetings
School leaders often meet with parents and community leaders. Instead of making content presentation the focus of the meeting, flip the meeting. To learn more about how to flip a meeting see my post here.
The key is to find ways to inform parents about the new model, and as they become aware and informed, they will become your strongest supporters. This is no different than if a school changes the bell schedule or the bus routes. Get the larger community behind you. Many schools and teachers have used my post entitled “Five Reasons Parents Should Be Thrilled Their Child is in a Flipped Classroom.”
What Message Should You Send in these Communications?
Now that you have a communication strategy, what should be the message you send about flipped learning?
Tell parents that teachers will spend less class-time giving information and more time helping students with difficult concepts. Their kids will have more one on one time with their teacher.
Parents all remember being in “that class.” The one where they either couldn’t follow the teacher or were bored out of their minds. Let them know that flipped classrooms are different. They are active places of learning, and students will be more engaged in class.
Make sure you also address the following foundational questions:
- How will students access the content?
- What expectations are there for families regarding technology?
- How long will the videos be?
- How many flipped videos do they anticipate students watching per week?
- Why is the school embracing the flipped model?
In summary, communicate, communicate, communicate. You can never communicate enough. Be clear, be consistent, and be relentless.