Posts Tagged ‘pbl’

In years 9 and 10 we have certain integrated subjects, so HSIE and English are grouped under Social Studies (SST). All the kids have one on one laptops and have to work in groups on projects that run for 5 weeks. A typical SST project will combine HSIE and English content and have a driving question. For eg: How are different voices key to our understanding of war?

So in the classroom we have team teachers and in SST there is one HSIE and one English expert.

I can’t say enough about why team teaching is great but I’ll keep it down to 5 reasons:

1. Synergy
‘Two heads are surely better than one’. The dynamics of my English classroom have been synergised from all the links to history and geography that my team teacher makes with the text. Texts that I would normally have to pour over for hours are now presented with great expertise from my team teacher. We were doing a unit on ‘Slaughterhouse five’ which is so much richer because of my colleagues input about the war in that time and surely the analysis of history is also enhanced from the imagery and empathy that a good novel can bring.

2. Varied teaching caters for varied learning
Normally it is a herculean task to get around all the kids in the class and try to cater to all the learners who are verbal, visual, kinesthetic, special needs and the list goes on. But the power of two is such that not only can we reach all these different learners but our different teaching styles make for great variety in activities and learning.

3. Creating and managing tailored resources

Once we get to know our classes its easy to realise that our time and tested tutorial we filmed two years ago may not suit this groups need so with a team teacher its just easier to collaborate and share resources that make for learning designed to our students’ needs. The extra presence in the classroom is also very handy for management issues or to spot the kid whose fired the spitball.

4. Modelling the method
I am a big fan of modelling responses, writing and anything that the kids are expected to produce. It helps the kids with structure and understanding. So I found it only natural that if we expect them to learn in groups, collaborate, communicate, think-pair-share then we have to do it too. Team teaching models that so brilliantly.

5. He aint heavy he’s my brother
Finally, its great to have a friend in the classroom who can collaborate and share the pain on those difficult days and the joy on those great days!


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