This year I have been fortunate enough to be working side by side with another grade 4 teacher who shares some of my enthusiasm for trialling new approaches to delivering an engaging curriculum. The management of my school have been very supportive and encouraging of our desire to establish a team teaching approach by combining both our classes. Our deputy principal has enabled us to combine our classes by merging our timetables so that all of our students are at specialist classes at the same time. This has allowed for the maximum amount of face to face time with our students while providing more planning time for both teachers.
So far we have found that:
a) Our students are more engaged and are following direction with greater ease.
b) Our students are motivated.
c) Teachers are able to address any issues directly as they arise instead of trying to find a suitable time afterwards.
d) Students have a larger range of peers to collaborate with.
e) Teachers have far greater flexibility that assists in planning for individual targeted outcomes
One of the other major advantages that we have found so far is that our current situation allows for far more planning time and therefore allows the teachers to engage in new and exciting areas of curriculum delivery that enhance teaching and learning. One of these areas is the concept of a Flipped Classroom. This is an area that will feature in a later blog.
As we are approaching the end of Term 1, we are beginning to reflect upon what has been a very successful first term. The students have not only settled well into a new and dynamic learning environment, they have shown amazing flexibility and adaptability. These are two personality traits that we believe are essential for the modern learner in today’s society.