His students were struggling, so he 'flipped' his classroom. Then everything changed.
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XQ: The Super School Project

After 12 years as principal of Clintondale High School, Greg Green had a bad feeling: He knew his school was failing its students.

Especially the at-risk ones. Only 63% of the kids at Clintondale went on to college, and 35% didn't even make it though high school. It was rated as one of the worst schools in Michigan.

He and his staff had tried everything they could with the school's limited resources. Nothing worked.


But he had an out-of-the-box idea.

Green is also a coach. To get the most out of the time he had with his players, he'd been making them videos to watch at home so they could see what they were doing wrong and how they could improve.

All images via NationSwell/YouTube.

At practice, he found that after they'd watched the videos, they'd already processed what was going on and made the necessary corrections.

What if academic classes operated the same way, with kids prepping in advance by watching videos online at home or in the school library, and then doing their work in school, during the day, with teachers on hand to assist?

Could that actually work?

Here's what a high school day is like these days.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average high school day is 6.7 hours long. And the average kid has 3.5 hours of homework per night, according to Education Week.

That's a 10-hour day — every day.

Oh yeah, there's also extracurricular activities like sports, music lessons, and so on.

Kids have to process and internalize what they've been taught during the day at night, after they've already put in what would be a full workday for adults. And they have to work out everything by themselves.

So Clintondale decided to try flipping a classroom.

They started with one teacher teaching a flipped class to struggling kids and the same teacher teaching the same material in a traditional way to average students. The idea was to see if the students having problems would be helped at all by the switch.

And...

The kids who were selected for this program actually outperformed the other class!

By 2011, Clintondale had flipped all of its classes, the first U.S. school to do so.

Clintondale's failure rate dropped from 35% to 10%. College enrollment went up from 63% to 80% in two years!

Maybe the best thing, though, is how the kids feel.

"Once I came over here, it was completely different. I absolutely loved that I could get the teacher's help in the classroom. I honestly went from a D, F — those were my basic grades — to almost all A's right now."
— Gisselle De La Cruz Diaz

Clintondale's success has caught the attention of schools all over the country, with 48% of teachers flipping a classroom by 2012, and 78% by 2014.

Sometimes, to get exceptional results, you've just gotta take exceptional action.

You can watch the story of Clintondale's incredible transformation here.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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