This exactly. I teach 3rd Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies. We have been departmentalized for two years and I never want to go back to self-contained. I do so much better in my planning and teaching when I can concentrate on less subjects. We have small classes (16-18 students) and I like that I get to know more students. I always seemed to get the more problem students because of the way that I handled them and their parents. Those same parents would often request me for siblings so the cycle would continue. My partner always seemed to get the "better" students. At Christmas she would get $50 gift certificates and I would get dollar store figures. Not that I would ever complain. I love my students. But her eyes have been opened to the struggles of teaching kids who don't have the same kind of support at home and I have learned to communicate with a different kind of parents.