I had already known that students needed a structured environment in which to learn. I've also known that many students were more engaged in the material I taught if I gave the a way to visually represent what they had learned and/or what I had taught them. What I didn't realize was that thinking was a skill that needed to be nurtured but also taught.
I was pushed by the videos and readings to really look at my classroom. The physical setting in which I was asking students to feel safe and open to exploring the new ideas I presented to them. What was my classroom saying to students? What could I bring into the classroom that assisted both the students in their learning and myself in the teaching? Thinking visually I began to see the walls as an extension of their minds. On the walls, where I would normally have inspirational quotes or images, I decided to showcase their thought processes and discoveries.
What I'm still struggling with is how to bring this into a flipped model of instruction? I teach at a college level and much of the material is presented before the student comes to the classroom. Also, how do I manage a classroom of adults. They're different then young people in that they can more easily tune out by either engaging in the smartphones or simply not coming to class. I believe that if I create an atmosphere that is engaging, safe, inspirational, and open I'll keep their interest in the material I'm presenting. I also struggle in how much of my teaching is theater-performance based.