Departmentalizing

Discussion in 'General Education' started by princessbloom, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 30, 2015

    What are your thoughts on departmentalizing. I'd like to get pros and cons.
    I've been offered a few different jobs to take for next year and one is a grade where there's no departmentalizing (a grade I've taught previously) and another position is one grade up where I would just teach Reading/Writing. My concern is with it being a new school, I won't know my partner. I know it helps when you can mesh well with the other person. Then, teaching just 2 subjects is appealing….

    Please give me your thoughts and experiences!
     
  2.  
  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,156
    Likes Received:
    1,759

    Apr 30, 2015

    I teach at a school that departmentalizes. I love it. We have some drama between teaching partners that don't get along, but most partners do. I really like being able to focus on a limited subject area.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    462

    Apr 30, 2015

    I've done both in 5th grade. I much prefer self-contained. It is much easier to know your students and teach the whole child. You also deal with fewer parents. Classro management is easier because there aren't two different sets of expectations.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,156
    Likes Received:
    1,759

    Apr 30, 2015

    This is one downside. Having two classroom management styles can be tough for some kids.

    The flipside of this con, though, is that when you have a terrible class, you only have them for part of the day. You can start fresh with the next group.
     
  6. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    Apr 30, 2015

    I posted about this not too long ago and got some great responses - you can find that here.

    Ultimately, we decided to go with self-contained, and it was for these reasons. I just couldn't give up having "my" class, and my partner teacher agreed. My partner and I get along great and have strengths that complement each other, so I think we could have made it work, but I just love being able to make deeper connections with a smaller group of kids. That's not something I was willing to give up. The extra planning is worth it to me. Also, we are getting more prep time next year, and it'll be my second year at this school and grade level, AND I plan to get ahead this summer, at least with pacing and creating resources. I think all of these things will help.

    Not trying to be off topic - just wanted to take you through my thought process in case it helps. :)
     
  7. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,319
    Likes Received:
    498

    Apr 30, 2015

    Departmentalizing makes is easier for teachers, but it's really hard on emotionally fragile students. They need their teacher who looks after them and knows their needs. I left a school that started this.

    I think it's ok on a special occasion/temporary basis. For example: rotating students through art or science units.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    May 1, 2015

    I'm not trying to argue, but why is it suddenly ok in 6th grade (or whenever middle school starts) to departmentalize? As I said, I've decided against it, but people used this kind of argument with me before, and I had trouble swallowing it. Is there really THAT big of a difference between a 10 year old and an 11 year old that they suddenly have completely different needs?

    I am honestly curious about this. It's something I wonder sometimes as a 5th grade teacher, just in general - the differences between them and middle schoolers, even middle schoolers just a year older than they are.
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    462

    May 1, 2015

    I think the students grow tremendously over the course of 5th grade! When I look back to how my students were in August versus now, I am always amazed at how they have matured.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,026
    Likes Received:
    1,496

    May 1, 2015

    I remember in 5th grade having one teacher for math and science and one for ela and ss. It wasn't traumatizing :dizzy: in 6th grade my class went to the class next door for math and science and thst class switched with us those 2 times per day. I'm sure it makes lesson planning much easier on the teachers.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 1, 2015

    I am not sure it is better for them to departamentalize at that age either.
     
  12. TheGr8Catsby

    TheGr8Catsby Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    23

    May 2, 2015

    I really dislike departmentalizing, at least in K-3. When you're self-contained, you know your students much better, and there are fewer chances for them to get in trouble. Having one set of routines and a landing spot to call their own makes the child feel like they belong.

    It's also a lot easier to integrate subjects because you have the same standards. You know the skills you taught in language arts, so you can expect to see them in social studies writing. You can turn that around and say that you see the skills you need to teach in language arts by looking at the social studies writing. When you're departmentalized you can't assume you know what's being covered and how.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    880

    May 2, 2015

    My team does a slight amount of departmentalizing. We each do our own math, language arts, morning meetings, health, and remediation. I do science, another teacher does social studies, and a third teacher does writing through content (which is typically either social studies or science, but occasionally math). I see it as being good for students. They have all the benefits of "one teacher," but also the benefits of having teachers who can spend more time planning. It's also good for having a second set of eyes on things.
     
  14. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    May 2, 2015

    I do agree that they grow a lot, but I know I won't realize it until I've completed a cycle and I'm teaching beginning of the year 5th graders after teaching end of the year 5th graders. ;) I came from 1st, so they just seemed so incredibly old to me in general at the beginning of the year.

    I did student teach in self-contained 6th grade. A middle school near me does a sort of hybrid model - they have a homeroom in the mornings for ELA/SS and then switch after lunch for math, science, art, and PE.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 395 (members: 2, guests: 367, robots: 26)
test