Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Who does what with whom?

A common question in schools today is who does what with whom? This is a common question because schools are generally filled with multiple types of staff and a large variety of expectations and goals.

When a class has little complexity or variability, this question is not too difficult to answer, but when a class presents greater complexity and variability, the question becomes difficult. Who does what with whom?

At the start of the year before I knew the students well, I had a good idea about how I wanted the class to run, but the better I know these students, the more that original idea has changed. Through knowledge of the children, knowledge gained from collegial/family/student conversations, observations, data collection, and more I have gained a deeper understanding of each and every student and that means that the expectations of who does what with whom has changed too.

For example a colleague that works in my classroom and I discussed our small math groups and decided to switch up the students in each group so that we could better serve their specific needs. That has worked out well.

One challenge with addressing the question of who does what with whom is time to connect and discuss this question in ways that everyone understands. Understanding is key yet the time to communicate effectively is not always available which presents a challenge.

I will try to build in some time for this during transitions from one class or lesson to another. That will help. The more we understand our roles and the opportunities to best serve the students in ways that matter, the better we teach. This is a topic I'm focused on at the moment as the school year evolves.