Ummm...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by brandi0718, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2008

    Does anyone know what you call it when 1 teacher teaches Reading, Phonics, Language all year and another teacher teaches Science, Math, Spelling, Social Studies all year- to 2 different sets of students...who switch from 1 class to another between the 2 teachers? I want to say team teaching, but what I have found on team teaching doesn't really sound like what I am talking about.
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    It is called team teaching. I did it for years. It has advantages, but also disadvantages.
     
  4. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Me and another teacher want to try it next year........we teach 1st grade....but we really want to try........what did you think about it? what kind of advantages and disadvantages did you see? what grade did you do it with?
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Do you mind if I but in.....


    I'd say the biggest advantage is for the teachers.... how nice would it be to dig deep into topics and actually do good units of study.... I would love it.
     
  6. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    our principal wants research on it..but i am not sure how to go about getting any.....right now i feel like most of our day is spent doing reading and it would be very beneficial to have an equal amount of time doing math and science....
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Advantages -- less lesson planning required because you are only doing half the subjects twice. Teachers can be "specialists" in a few areas. It is easier to group children by ability.


    Disadvantages -- if they aren't used to it, many parents will object and demand to be moved to a "normal" class. This was a huge problem every year. (We had both kinds of classes.)

    The students don't feel like they have a "home" teacher.

    The transition and moving is too much for many special needs children, especially autistic children (asperbers) and others who are sensitive to changes in routine.

    The two teachers have to be "in-sync" with disciipline (use exactly the same discipline chart) and apply it consistently.

    Homework has to be coordinated so you don't both give big things on the same day/week.

    The two teachers have to communicate constantly, or the kids take advantage -- double visits to the restroom, because you don't know they already went 7 times with the "other" teacher.

    The students who get in trouble will also play the teachers against each other. Ms. A already said no, so they ask Ms. B later in the day and fail to tell her that Ms. A already said no.

    The students have to carry their belongings with them. Two times a day they have to unpack, hang up bookbags, get out supplies, find homework, etc. They also feel a bit like "wanderers' because they don't have a desk or table that is "their own."

    The biggest disadvantage -- you lose a lot of time with the transitions. At the beginning of the year it takes forever to get the kids to transition from one room to another. Even once they have it done, every discipline problem you can imagine happens during the transition from one classroom to another.

    We did departmental team teaching for grades 1-5 for years. This year, our new principal stopped all of it. We went back to self-contained classes. I actually like self-contained MUCH better.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Oh, I forgot the biggest thing.. you HAVE to stay exactly on schedule. If one teacher runs over, it ruins the other teacher's lessons.

    Also, the kids spend more time "going back to the other room" to retreive "forgotten" items (I left my pencil, my library book, my homework...in the OTHER room.)
     
  9. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    The way that we had it planned---we would start off with our "homeroom class" and only have 2 times during the day that we switch....once in the morning about 10:00 and the other time about 1:00. The switch at one will be during our activity time----when they go to art or p.e. so that really won't be a switch that will take away from instructional time....



    could you tell a difference academically?
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    We had a similar set-up to what you are saying.

    Did I see a difference academically? No. Absolutely not.

    We did, however, have many, many more discipline problems than the self-contained class.

    Doing parent-teacher conferences was a huge drag -- we met with them together, so while the self-contained teachers had 20 conferences, we had FORTY or more! We couldn't do them all on the assigned parent-teacher conference day, so for a week afterwards, we were meeting with parents afterschool. It was a nightmare. If you did them separately, most parents wanted to meet with both of you, so it still doubled the number and scheduling that was a nightmare.

    I'm NOT a big fan of departmentalized teaching for grades any lower than 5th. I loved team teaching, but now that I've gone back to self-contained, I would never go back to team teaching with young children. There are just too many negatives.

    Also, one thing to consider... we had to take our children to resources (such as PE, art, etc) by homeroom, not by our "split".. so they had to be switched in the hallway on-route to those classes. So half of my group had to go to one resource, while the other half went to another.

    My team teacher was ALWAYS running late, which annoyed the resource teachers -- since only half of the class was on time. They wouldn't start class until EVERYONE was there, so my kids often barely got PE.

    The other thing I remember is this... one of my classes would always "get it" faster than the other, and eventually, you are in two different places, and you end up writing different lesson plans for each group -- so there goes the time savings on writing lesson plans.
     
  11. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

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    I don't team teach, I guess. I have a teaching partner, but we only have one class. We are both part time first grade and part time Reading Recovery. I've been calling it the wrong name for 4 years! oops! I can see the drawbacks that the others mentioned. Even sharing the same kids, there are drawbacks. The discipline is a big deal. You have to be very much on the same page. The kids will try to play you against each other. They tell me, I have to do this.. uh, no, you have to do what I told you to do. I HAVE to be done teaching at 11, so even I'm not, I have to have the kids clean up and ready for her to come in. Some parents question why their kid has 2 teachers, who's not the real teacher is a question we have had in the past. Most of the parents know us now, so it hasn't come up lately. It is good for some of the kids to have 2 teachers, they get to start over if they were brats the first part of the day. Our child with Aspbergers does fine (or as fine as she would with 1 teacher) with us switching.
    It does have it's benefits too. Since we have the same kids, it cuts down on planning. I am very much the math person and she is the reading person (even though I am RR trained) and we are the ones the others ask for info (teachers). If you are switching kids, it could be a pain. When I was in 4th grade, we switched. between 3 teachers. It wasn't a big deal. Our teachers didn't let us take longer than 4 minutes to switch, or we missed out on recess.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Teachers in our school doesn't like it for upper elementary either. They switch for 3 teachers but there is just too many problems. I've seen team teachers do okay. They even have their own areas but they are both in the classroom all the time.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I hated departmentalizing. We did it for three years, started to this year, and I finally said "no more" after a quarter. I wanted my kids back, in my homeroom. I wanted my flexibility back. And I wanted to be responsible for the learning if I was going to be held accountable through test scores.
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I have been both self-contained and departmentalized (some years with two teachers and some with three, depending on how many fourth graders we have that year), and I much prefer self-contained.
     
  15. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    We self contain for reading, spelling, phonics, writing, math.
    We departmentalize for computer, science/health, and social studies.
    Teacher A teaches computer 3 times on MW for 45 minutes each
    Teacher B teaches Sci/heal.....
    Teacher C teaches social studies

    I like this because it allows me to get to know all the children, less planning, yet I am with my 'homeroom' for 75% of the time.
     
  16. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    We call it "Rotations" - we have one teaching social studies, one teaching math, one teaching science to 3 different groups of 5th graders, but then all 3 teachers are responsible for teaching their own group reading and language arts.
     
  17. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    I think the difference between self-contained and departmentalized is the difference between teaching children or teaching subjects. My passion is teaching children.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Departmentalized does not mean you aren't teaching students. You are just teaching more of them, but are able to dig deeper into your subject giving your students a better understanding of that subject.
     
  19. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    I knew my post might sound meaner than I intended. Sorry. I have no doubt that subject teachers love and teach their students. But the less students you have the more you can know each one as a whole child. IMO I think elementary ed. Should be about educating the whole child and helping them become lifelong learners. I think when we put too much importance on specific subjects some of that can be lost. I say this also understanding that there are some advantages to departmentslizing and knowing that I am generalizing my opinion for the sake of argument.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mislilhen, I actually agree with your assessment of rotations for elementary. I know the older the students get it is beneficial to have someone who is somewhat of an expert in different subjects but for the younger grades they need personal connections with their teachers (across the entire day) and self contained offers the flexibility of being able teach across the curriculum. That's just my own personal opinion of it. Not everybody has to agree. :)
     
  21. heart4kids

    heart4kids Rookie

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    With the pressures of state testing, departmentalization allows a teacher to specialize in a subject/test and IMO reduces stress. Last year I switched classes with another teacher. She taught reading and I taught math. The two subjects with state tests in 3rd grade in TX. We loved it and felt that we were better teachers in that particular subject because of it. Of course there are some disadvantages. In our case I think there were less behavior issues b/c the teacher received a break from a challenging student and that student could start out fresh with the other teacher.
     
  22. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    I agree with you wholeheartedly. When I was allowed to pull my Resource students out I knew everything about them. Now, in the classroom, as part of the "Inclusion Team" I am being pulled in multiple directions with students who are not even mine, which gives me less time to work with my own assigned group. No need to apologize.
     
  23. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    I think you are right that it reduces teacher stress. That is the biggest pro I have heard about it. I feel the need to say, though, that it seems so sad that the pressure of state testing can be so stressful!
     

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