I think it's time for two teachers in every classroom

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Sarge, Apr 26, 2014.

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  1. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2014

    Ooh, there's a school near me that the entire elementary school is one big open room. They have creatively placed bookshelves. Back in the day, when it was built, it was "new age" and "innovative".

    Now, it's just a pain in the teachers' butts. They all hate it. We had to visit there once to observe their reading series, and it was the worst day of my career. I could not focus at all; I suppose the kids get used to it, but I can't imagine what it's like for a new student moving in. :unsure:
     
  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    A classic case of top-down Procrustean* innovation: someone quietly mentions having had good success with two teachers teaching in one fairly large space, and the next thing you know, the boffins and the administrators are calling for elimination of all the walls because, of course, what works on a small scale has to work even better on a much bigger one and, naturally, what works in one classroom is absolutely right for absolutely all other classrooms.

    I think Sarge isn't calling for anything of the kind.
     
  3. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sounds like me school. There's nothing good I can say about an open classroom, unfortunately.

    To the OP - I wouldn't want to be an inclusion teacher. I know a few inclusion teachers and they report being treated like aides, being treated like visitors in the classroom, and then having the gen ed teachers complain that they don't do enough. NOTE - please don't be upset with me if you're an inclusion teacher or a gen ed teacher working with an inclusion teacher. I'm just reporting the experiences I've heard about and they've made me not want this for myself.
     
  4. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Apr 26, 2014

    You suggest a solution at an attempt to solve a problem, but you introduce more problems. One of which is the ability for two teachers to coexist. I have met and known dozens and dozens of teachers. Great people, diverse personalities, and in there lies the problem of how two people can "rule" one space. I'm sorry, but simply stating that teachers should "deal with it" isn't a solution.

    The profession and job requires constant decision making. When you have two heads making decisions, more often than not, the decisions won't jive. Even if two people can get along great, the constant contradiction can make things tense. In the end, when the two teachers don't get along, they will refuse to work together, which defeats the whole purpose of co-teaching.

    A compromise is simply giving a full time aide to each teacher. No conflict of power there. One person might not be fully credentialed or able to do certain things, but at least you no longer have an issue of two chiefs.
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Well, I wouldn't be so sure about that either. :whistle:
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Apr 26, 2014

    Ditto.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have a full time para. It's wonderful. I agree that it works because there is one only person "in charge." I might have to share my room next year and I'm dreading it. My teammates have pointed out that I already share my room with my para. It's totally different, because I'm still in charge of the room. It helps that my para is completely fantastic- I could see that being rough too with the wrong person.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Exactly. Just because someone has the title of Vice President, it doesn't mean they won't try to usurp the President's power. Especially if the VP has a more dominant personality.
     
  9. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    It's not going to be perfect but it's a compromise to the suggestion that there be two adult educators in the room at any one time. At least with this scenario, it's quite clear who makes the decision.
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Apr 26, 2014

    I can't imagine what a school would have to lose in its budget to double what it pays in teacher salaries. Not worth it, IMO. Excluding IEP situations and overcrowding, there's no reason for doubling up.
     
  11. Lurker

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    Apr 26, 2014

    This. I've seen a lot of aides push their weight around because they have more seniority or a better connection. Even if they don't have those things, they can still complain and be passive aggressive. There was a new teacher in my school last year for kindergarten. I could tell she wasn't the shrinking violet type. She got saddled with an aide who's been bounced around every class that needs an aide. They didn't get along and the aide actually said to her in a pd "We've been doing it that way for years. We'll be doing it that way next year when you're GONE". :unsure: It was true. :dizzy:

    I didn't enjoy having an aide the times I did. I know with my current coworkers I wouldn't enjoy coteaching.

    I think coteaching works best when the roles are defined. For example, Mrs. Jones teaches English and History and Mrs. Smith helps out or does some sort of prep work and they switch when Mrs. Smith teaches Math and Science. I also can't imagine a room with forty children. I feel like that's a breeding ground for children to get lost. Both the children who are struggling academically and the middle ones. The boys and girls who are doing "ok", but not very social and in their own "bubble". I also feel with that many children unwanted behavior could escalate.
     
  12. Lurker

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    Apr 26, 2014

    Have you ever worked with an aide? I think it's easy to say suck it up if you haven't. The "grownup world" is not being stuck in the same space with another adult all day. If my husband doesn't like someone he has to work with, he can sit in his office and work on his part, or go outside, or in the break room. As a teacher, you can't do that with an aide or coworker who is unbearable or lazy. In the grown up world, you're not stuck working with the same person in and out for 180 days. Teams change and often you can pick who you work with the "grownup" world.
     
  13. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Apr 27, 2014

    Sign me up. I've had really rough year, and a second pair of eyes and hands and another brain would have been so, so welcome.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 27, 2014

    I have three paras/aides this year in my sped room. It's the second-worst part of my job. Miserable. If I have to share my space with another adult, I'd much rather they be another fully-certified teacher.

    As far as the original idea about two regular teachers co-teaching together, I think that would be ideal. In fact, I watched some film about Finland's educational system back when I was in grad school - a film in which they discussed how every classroom had two teachers, and I've been saying that would be the perfect solution ever since then. Now, I definitely don't think it's a necessity at all grades, all schools, and all courses. I do, however, think it would be most beneficial at the primary grades. Maybe it wouldn't be needed in a secondary setting. I don't have experience there, so I can't say.

    If I could have a co-teacher (not an aide), I'd gladly take them, welcome them, and openly collaborate with them. No way do I want to "supervise" another adult aide, unless I'm getting paid extra money for it. And even then, it might not be worth the hassle. In my experience, having adult aides is like having additional students on the roster - only harder to deal with.
     
  15. Loveslabs

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    Apr 27, 2014

    I have an excellent paraprofessional! We sat down and discussed our styles, expectations, strengths, weaknesses, etc. before the first day of school three years ago. We are an awesome team, and she makes me a better teacher.
    She sees herself in the role of the observer. Often, she will discuss something with me that I don't see because I am so busy juggling seven thousands things. Her observations allow me to make some changes which really pay off in the form of student success. Also, she is a great sounding board for when I can't figure out how to solve a problem. She has over twenty years of experience with special needs kids so she usually has some great ideas.
    If we could make copies of her I would be happy to share.:D
     
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