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Job sharing?
Old 04-06-2019, 05:59 AM
 
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Has anyone done job sharing before? Or has your own child been in a classroom with job sharing? This idea has come up at my school and Iím curious to dig into the topic.


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Old 04-06-2019, 06:15 AM
 
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I did a split with a teacher one year. We had two classes combined in a large room. 52 students. She taught math and science. I taught social studies and language arts. I hated it. Small groups all day long. My butt hurt from sitting all day. She didnít think we needed to connect our lessons at all. She would never start the class each day. I ended up doing most of the work. It was not a good fit. It might have worked better with another partner. Fortunately, she decided to retire after one year with me. She even took a bunch of my stuff when she left. It took almost a year to get my things back.

My best advice is to choose your partner carefully. This is a bit like a marriage. The wrong partner will make life miserable, but the the right one will make life a dream.
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Job sharing
Old 04-06-2019, 06:33 AM
 
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Rule one: pick your own partner. Like arsabl says, itís like a marriage.

We have had a few over the last years....usually due to maternity leaves. New momís want to stay home a few days. All the ones we had, the originating teacher picked her partner.

As far as I know, the parents were fine with it. Generally, they were in the primary grades.
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:38 AM
 
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When I went back to work after being home with my kids, I was hired for a kinder job share position. The full time teacher asked to go part time. I went in and observed a few times towards the end of the school year (before I was in the position), and realized that the teacher wanted to be there half time, but wasn't willing to be flexible about routines, space, materials. She basically wanted an afternoon substitute teacher. I could tell it was not going to work, even though we got along personally. I ended up taking a full time job in the same building for that year.

That kinder class was split for 3 years and every year the original teacher had a different partner. There were behavior issues each year that were due to inconsistency between the partner teachers. I think in older grades that might be less of an issue.

One benefit would be if the teaching partners had different areas of expertise, they could teach their strength areas. I just think, having seen it up close, the job sharing teachers need to have excellent communication skills, be really organized and work really well together. I can only think of one teacher in my school that I could probably successfully job share with.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:32 AM
 
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I have not done it, but I knew a children's book author (award-winning!) who taught first grade in a job share. He did language arts, etc. half-day and the other teacher did math, etc. the other half day. I think it worked well because the partnership lasted for several years.

One of my sons was in a 2nd grade situation where the wife taught the math, etc. and the husband taught the language arts. That wasn't really a job share because both were employed full time. However, they scrambled the students up in all sorts of different combinations. At any given time half were in one classroom and half were next door in the other. My son liked it just fine and I especially appreciated that he had a math expert teaching him. Too often elementary teachers don't really like math and it rubs off on the kids.


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Old 04-06-2019, 07:43 AM
 
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I've done the split half days. Friends have done it where one came Mon, Tues and 1/2 on Wed. The other partner did 1/2 on Wed , Thurs, Fri. Others have taught Mon, Tues, partner Wed, Thursday and rotate Fridays. Pick partner carefully. Be willing to communicate after school. Be flexible. Neither partner can rule the roost.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:43 AM
 
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Both my kids had job share teachers in 2nd grade (but different teachers, and different schools). I think my son's teachers did a wonderful job with it. They were on the same page. They both worked full days the first week of school. Then one worked all day on Mondays, and then T - Th. mornings. The other worked T - Th. afternoons and all day Fridays. One specialized more in math and the other in reading, but they both taught the other's specialty one day a week (plans written by the one who usually taught it). The often subbed for each other, and just kept track between themselves. They conferenced with families together.

My daughter's teachers just did straight up half days, one specializing in math and the other in reading. They did pretty well together, but I don't think they were as cohesive (and probably weren't as personally close) as my son's teachers. They both worked a full day on at least the first day together. They conferenced with parents together. I had no complaints.

If I were to do it, I'd want to try what my son's teachers did. They both got 3-day weekends most weekends.

Our district used to have a lot of job shares, but it is discouraged now, and rare. I'm guessing because it costs more for insurance to insure 2 rather than one for one position.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:49 AM
 
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It was done in a K-8 school I worked in with middle school teachers. It made much more sense for them because of rotating class periods- they basically were sharing a room and a title, but they didn't share students, so other than the room set up they could each run things however they wanted as they both had their own class periods.

I have a friend who job shares K and enjoys it. She's a half time teacher and half time instructional coach. She's not in my building, so I don't know how it works in practice, but it seems like that would be much more difficult to share a class. You'd have to be on the same page for absolutely everything- rules/expectations, routines, grading policies, parent communication, discipline policies, etc.

I personally wouldn't like that, even if I were teaching with a close friend. I'd also wonder how much you're adding to your workload with all of that collaboration you'd have to do with the other person. It would take so much time to plan and compromise on all of that together vs. just getting it done on your own. With that extra work included, is it worth even going half time? I'm not sure how much would really be "half time" other than the pay!
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:23 PM
 
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I am in a job share and it is the best job on the planet! Seriously, I have never been happier and more balanced than I am right now. My partner and I have been teaching together for 7 years. I started as her LTS when she went on maternity leave, and then she decided to come back half time. It was a dream come true for me.


The pros:
  • The biggest pro is the sharing of the emotional burden. I never realized how much of a burden we as teachers take on until I had the chance to share it. Nothing rests solely on me. When we have difficult situations we face them together. If there's a problem with a parent we have those difficult conversations together. What a blessing!
  • Planning is always better with two heads! We bounce ideas back and forth, refine each other's ideas, etc.
  • It is so much more fun setting up the new year with someone else.
  • We each have our strengths and weaknesses and can take up the slack for each other. There are things I hate to do and she loves, and vice versa.
  • We very rarely need a sub because we just trade days and fill in for each other.
  • Kids don't slip through the cracks. When I miss something she sees it. We each connect with different kids and families in different ways.
  • We both stay fresh. When I start feeling tired or burnt out I realize that I have 2 or 5 days off (depending on the week) to refresh.
  • I don't feel guilty when I need to be out or want to take a vacation because I know my partner is there.
  • Report cards are actually much easier when we do them together.
  • The little things don't usually get forgotten - one of us is bound to remember it!
  • I could go on and on... seriously.
Things to keep in mind:
  • Like a pp said, it is like a marriage so the right partner is key! Mine makes everything so much easier. But the wrong person would make it so much harder.
  • You aren't working 50%. There is extra time spent getting together, planning, communicating, etc. But if it's done well it doesn't feel like a burden. And even coming in together on off hours isn't so bad when we are together. We also choose to do the first two days together, as well as the last day, so we end up working an extra day or two each year. But I actually love those days when we get to teach together!
  • Communication and honesty is key. If things aren't working you have to be able to talk about it and work it out.
  • Flexibility is also key! You have to be willing to compromise and try new things and change your ways.
  • You need to be on the same page in terms of philosophy, management, etc.
Feel free to pm me if you have any questions. I wouldn't give up my job share for anything!
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Thanks!
Old 04-08-2019, 01:51 PM
 
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Thanks so much for your input everyone. This was very helpful. Itís clear the partnership is so crucial.


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Old 04-08-2019, 01:54 PM
 
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I job shared one year, and it was great. But I agree with the PP who says you have to choose your own partner and it's like a marriage.

It's also like a marriage in that your BFF might not be a good spouse for you. So just because you get along well socially doesn't mean you'll get along well professionally. You want to pick someone who has similar standards and goals but complementary strengths and weaknesses.

ETA: Sbkangas5 nailed it with her lists!
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