How crazy is it to teach multiple subjects at the secondary level?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by joeschmoe, May 23, 2014.

  1. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    May 23, 2014

    Either at middle or high school, how hard is it to teach more than one subject? Planning must be crazy, but does it get better after the first year?
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    More than one subject, such as history and math, or more than one subject as in "US History" and "Psychology"? In my high school, the first would never be done, but the second is true for more than 50% of teachers.
     
  4. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Doesn't matter as long as you have to plan a totally different lesson. I'm currently teaching mostly one subject but I want to transfer to a school that is smaller, except it would require me to most likely teach multiple subjects (or levels of the same subject). I'm not sure how I'm going to like it.
     
  5. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Honestly, I think that's the norm. There was a recent thread on here where people were discussing number of preps and I was in the minority with only TWO different classes. There were posters that teacher 3-4 different classes at the same time.

    So, yeah, I'd imagine it will pop up at some point. In my department, I can only think of 2 teachers out of 14 who only teach 1 subject.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have three different preps. I have had as many as five. It isn't easy, but it is fairly normal in my content area. I'm not sure that I've known very many teachers who have had only one prep (subject to plan for).
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

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    In my area it is the norm for teachers to have two different preps. Rare for a teacher to only have one or to have three different ones. When teachers have three they are usually very closely related like Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III.

    IME, good principals give a brand new teacher one prep or have other teachers in their department share plans with them so they don't get overwhelmed.

    Having one prep is time-saving and allows you more room for growth in that subject. But it can get boring after a while.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I went four years where I taught both 7th and 8th grade English and history.

    And one of the 7th grade classes was for ELL students. So I actually had about 4.5 preps.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Span I, Span II, and Span III aren't really that closely related.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Almost all job postings around here for 7-12 want you to be dual certified. And sometimes they want really strange combos. At the district I attended as a student, it wasn't totally abnormal for a teacher to teach have a class that was in their other certification. I had the same teacher for ELA and French in the same year one year. My child development teacher taught one hour of PE. My art teacher had one hour of ELA. And I went to a fairly big high school (over 2000).
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

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    FAR more so than US History, Psychology and Yearbook are.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I disagree. The only thing that Span I, II, and III have in common is that they are all taught in Spanish. The content and standards are entirely different. There is as much planning overlap as there would be between History, Psych, and YB, i.e., virtually none.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I disagree, too. English I, II, and III are wildly different. It doesn't matter that they're all called "English".

    Sarge, I had that exact same schedule my first three years teaching! I also had one 7th grade math class thrown in for good measure one year! It was crazy stressful, but I learned how to be very organized...
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    During my SPED years, there was a year where I taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade math, and another year where I taught all subjects for 6th grade. I definitely considered the all-math year to be easier, planning-wise, even though the content and standards were different. Maybe it's different at the high school level though.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I had six preps my first year. It really wasn't too bad. I was able to overlap some things. We also taught on A/B blocks, which helped immensely. I have three this year and don't feel stressed out about it at all.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Except for my first year when I only taught 7th grade, I've always taught more than one subject/prep each year. When I taught MS, I always had to teach 6th & 7th grade or 7th & 8th grade so I was teaching two completely different courses/preps. I also taught Health during this time for one year.

    At the HS level, this year I taught US History, World History and an elective. So I was planning for 3 courses.

    It does get better if you can reuse the materials from year to year so you are not planning from scratch each time.
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

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    I teach math, reading, writing, social studies, and science every day. ;)
     
  18. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Me too!
    :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Me too, and I teach grade 7! (Also, throw in visual arts, drama and health).
     
  20. MonicaWinter

    MonicaWinter Rookie

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    Anyone teach multiple HS sciences? I went to a Catholic school and our one science teacher taught bio, Chem, physics and AP bio (which just boggles my mind!)
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    Yes, I have. Some people could do it and do it well. Many cannot. The content knowledge is so vastly different.
     
  22. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I think it's interesting that so many teachers on this forum say how common it is to have multiple preps (in secondary). Where I worked in the USA I had one prep, and so did all the other science teachers. That's one of the things I look forward to in moving back to the USA- having less preps.
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Many of our teachers at our school teach both math and science.

    I teach two preps. Science and Communications (which is a weird elective which every teacher I've talked to who has taught it basically used it as a free-for-all elective).

    For me, it's not so bad, because my second prep doesn't require any standards to be taught. I've used it as a project-based learning platform and taught kids mostly how to communicate using technology. After I plan a project, it's good from anywhere from 3 days to two weeks while the kids work on it so there isn't too much planning. I keep the project prompts fairly open-ended too.

    I would like to do more meaningful projects next year, but I was having trouble with difficult projects with these students. (they're very complainy) From what I heard about last year, the teacher mostly had them watching movies. From another school, their communications teacher did mostly science projects (which I can't do because all of the projects he did overlap with the projects I do in science).
     
  24. FourSquare

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    I teach all 5 subjects daily in 7th grade....and no, it's not any easier cause I'm in SPED. I'm expected to cover the same material just in different ways.

    It's very difficult. Next year I will have 6/7 Reading, 6/7 Writing, 7th Math, and I will co-teach 7th Science and Social Studies.

    Our Gen Ed teachers have 1 prep if there is 5 homerooms, or 2 if there is 4 homerooms. (Reading and their core subject.)
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Our science teachers have: 1, 1, 3, 5 preps. Junior high has the one each. High school is 3 and 5. We're very small so most of our classes are just one section each.
     
  26. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I've had as few as one prep and as many as five. Honestly... I really like two. Writing plans is more time-consuming, but I like being able to switch gears during the day. Just not every period :lol:
     
  27. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I have never had less than 4.
     
  28. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Multiple preps - yes, common. Yes, difficult. Gets easier with time oh YES. unless the preps change every semester or year...which is also common.
     
  29. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I've done it. One year I taught Grade 9 Math, Grade 9 Social Studies, Grade 9 French and Grade 10 Science. It was more because they were all French Immersion courses, I speak French and I was willing to teach them all. You get used to the planning.

    It's not 'uncommon' here for people to teach outside their specialty. I teach at a 7-12 school at present and out of all of our junior high math teachers (there are 4 of us) none of us has a degree in Math. One has a degree in a science...biology maybe? One has a degree in Engineering and the other two of us have degrees in social sciences.

    This year, I'm teaching one section each of Grades 7, 8 and 9 French Immersion Math, one section of English program Grade 9 Math and a section of Grade 11 Phys Ed.
     
  30. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    If you ever get get into alt. Ed and they want you to teach a self contained class, it's not as bad as it sounds. You would teach English and basic math and rest of the classes the students work on independently, because they would be at different levels. You could have a kid who need World History, another Earth science, etc, so they'd work out of the book, you would have to grade it all though.
    I've subbed at schools like that, it's not any harder than the "regular" way.
     
  31. mazzystar

    mazzystar Rookie

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    I'll have three next year: on level language arts, pre-ap language arts, and Yearbook. We'll see next year if this was a mistake!!
     
  32. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My dad taught two different subjects. I think what kept him sane was having taught one (American History) for over 20 years, which meant he needed much less prep time for that than for his other course (Media Production), which he piloted at the school.
     

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