Do you prefer to be self-contained or departmentalized?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Luv2TeachInTX, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    Aug 9, 2014

    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.
     
  2. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 9, 2014

    We are departmentalized and we each teach our homeroom language arts but I feel I get the brunt of the work because I have to teach 2 subjects to 2 different classes while the other grade 5 teacher only has to teach one because there are more daily minutes required for what she teaches. Still, only language arts gets state testing while both her subjects get state testing so, accountability wise, I'm better off.
     
  3. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2014

    I was departmentalized last year, but I think I like it best the way I will be doing it next year. Self-contained, but each teacher makes the plans for one subject and shares them (and each individual teacher is free to alter them as needed to suit her own class, but at least the basics are there). The benefits I see to this (especially since elementary)

    -Consistency in behavior/procedural expectations for the students as well as being better able to keep track of student behavior
    -Building that bond with students
    -Knowing what they are doing in every subject, being able to combine where possible is much easier
    -I found teaching the same thing multiple times in a row (3 times last year!) got monotonous. Yes, I could alter things to improve from class to class, but sometimes I was just tired of teaching that subject by the time the last group rolled around. Not to mention grading soooo many of the same thing!
    -When things come about that change the daily schedule (i.e. programs, partial-day field trips, early release, etc) I can choose which things are most important to fit in that day for my own individual class.
    -As a newer teacher I don't know yet where my strengths/interests lie when it comes to choosing a subject to teach
    -And, though this is less important than some of the others, if a teacher is suddenly out and for whatever reason unable to make up sub plans, it would be much easier for the others to pull something together since they know what is happening in every subject.
     
  4. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I like departmentalization but I teach upper grades and middle school.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 10, 2014

    SC for lower grades....Departmentalized for 4th on up.

    I was fine in SC 2nd and 3rd. Past 4th, the content and expectations are just too much to juggle. I did SC 6th and then SC 7th (SPED) and I am THRILLED to only be doing Math and Literacy this year.
     
  6. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2014

    My school switched last year to having grades 2-8 all departmentalized and I think it didn't work out too well. I did not experience it myself being that I was not in a classroom last school year (I am a literacy specialist) but I do know that some teachers complained about departmentalization in the lower grades and it not working too well. I think it was a big mess if you ask me. I know that I wouldn't like not being about to teach my own homeroom kids math or reading, especially if they're in a testing grade. So if I'm designated to teach science, I wouldn't even know how my students are doing in math and reading and that would be awful! For whatever reasons, my school decided to go back to self contained when school starts back up to grade 5. Then departmentalized 6-8. I think that's smart.
     

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