Flipping Professional Learning: Our First Go


Well.  We did it!  We flipped our professional learning for educators!  

Part of our master plan for professional learning includes FBA/BIP Using the Problem Solving Method.  This is an essential element to any school building’s framework of support for all kids.  Essentially, we believe the problem solving method is a viable way to understand the child in the school environment.  This knowing allows us to support them in ways that help them overcome the barriers that prevent them from thriving socially, emotionally and academically.  The process can be laborious and isn’t needed for all kids.  When the environment and the student clash in pronounced ways, this is the most reliable tool we have.

We have had sessions for our county for years.  They have been fairly well-attended.  However, the lesson design and resulting outcomes for educators   were  problematic for a variety of reasons:

While I work with a phenomenal team ( and this is OUR collective “baby”),  my personal goal was to design a more engaging experience for the learner that met them where they were and gave them some tools to move forward.  Infusing some technology, where appropriate, was also part of our game plan.  I yearn for growth:  in self and others,   and to be a catalyst of just that. There must be a purpose in everything I do.  Our team did a great job designing this learning experience!

Lesson Design

We are going to flip it.  No more “sage on the stage”.  No more “sit and git”.  I wholeheartedly am grateful for  the support we had by Bryan Dean (@drrevdean) , the county’s gifted guy with ‘hat-n-tats’, who knows “the real deal”.  He assisted with lesson design.

The 1.5 day “content” (knowledge) was put on PowerPoint with voice-over.  Supporting handouts were placed on Edmodo.  We had assessments, but these were primarily about affording participants with state credits for their participation.  We had a completed case as a  model.

We typically send out a pre-needs assessment using surveymonkey.com.  This is to guide our day; meet them where they are, currently.  

Face to Face

1.  Digest the content:   we used www.todaysmeet.com  as a back-channel but to process what they knew, what they needed to know and how we can support them during the day.  The input was very helpful, in a formative assessment kind of way.


2.  Teams applied learning with an actual student.    We had a school team ; we had individuals from several school teams.  Those from the school team were:

  • more engaged
  • more productive


                                                                         20130131_110131 (2)

This is what “engaged” looks like with adults.

3.  We used a chalk talk routine to discuss pitfalls and roadblocks.  

4.  We crowd-sourced interventions around the pitfalls.  We modeled thoughtful searches.  People discussed.

5. We made district/building plans around all of the content.  


  •  Quadruple check access as it pertains to technology
  • Create and USE pre-assessments to design great learning for individuals
  • Make this a three day event with two of the days face to face
  • Keep on, “keepin, on”.  Progress monitoring matters because it informs
  • School teams are more engaged and productive than individuals
  • Consider giving credits for individuals who simply want the content

Engaging, productive professional learning is hard to come by.  I want to get better at meeting educators where they are and helping them to the next place.  Our next go around will be even better!


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