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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shared Teaching: "Your Class is Better Than Mine"

Sometimes classrooms are compared to one another by students, families, educators, and leaders. It's natural to compare similar situations to identify the similarities and differences. Yet, at times, comparisons like this may not serve the teaching/learning community well.

This year, as we embark on a shared teaching model for fifth grade, one advantage of the model is that all teachers are teaching all students thus there's little need or desire for comparison. We're working together to present a collective program that aims to serve all children well.

As each homeroom comes to my math class, I am well aware of each homeroom's individual personality. There's differences with regard to energy level, attention span, sense of humor, interests, and more. This doesn't make one homeroom better than the other, but clearly it demonstrates that different classes require a bit of difference when it comes to just right pedagogy and focus.

We teach all students the same material, but we also meet the students where they are thus differing our approaches to foster engagement and empowerment.

I really like the shared model of teaching at a grade-level. I think this model supports deeper collaboration which results in better delivery of services. As with any educational idea, what's good in one place or at one grade-level or subject area may not be good at another. That depends on context, focus, goals, and development, but if you're considering change, you may want to think about ways that you can share the teaching/learning responsibilities to benefit all students in ways that foster greater collaboration than comparison.