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teach123 teach123 is offline
 
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Self contained or departmentalized
Old 06-10-2020, 04:27 AM
 
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We lost a teacher for the fall due to budget cuts. I have a choice to teach one subject three times a day or be totally self contained. We are not sure what the fall will look like at this point. It would be easier to teach one subject but I am leaning towards self contained. I have never done it and would like to try it. The only thing that concerns me is the lesson planning. I could share plans with the rest of my grade but would have to turn in 4 subjects of plans each week. This is 4th grade so I would also have 3 end of year tests to be responsible for too. Should I stick with what I know and is easy or go out on a limb for something different?


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My take...
Old 06-10-2020, 05:58 AM
 
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Before this past year, I would have self-contained all the way. I love teaching all of the subjects because I LOVE all of the subjects. If I didn't teach one, I felt like I would miss it. I also love the flexibility self-contained classes bring, and I feel it is a much better use of time. I also like the consistency it brings.

That being said, I took a new job this year, and we switch for science and social studies and regroup the kids for math. I never thought I'd like it, but I LOVE it. I do miss teaching science, but there are so many positives: less planning, getting a break from those kids who wear you down, makes my day go by faster, and I get to improve on the lesson the second time around since I am teaching the same thing to two groups.

After reading your post, I think sticking with departmentalizing is the way to go for you. To have to turn in plans for all of those subjects would be brutal, in my opinion. I've never had to turn in plans. Plus, with COVID, we don't know if there will be in person instruction, distance learning, a mix of both, etc. so teaching just 1 subject would help, especially if we are doing distance learning.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:33 AM
 
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I teach 3rd grade. We team teach and I love it. I teach Reading, ELA, and Social Studies. My partner teaches Math and Science. My homeroom students stay with me until lunchtime and then we swap classes after lunch. Having to plan for less subjects is wonderful and really allows you more time to focus on the content you are teaching and makes planing so much easier. Plus, I feel like once we swap classes, everyone gets a fresh start. If a student had a difficult morning in one class, they get to start again in the afternoon with a new teacher. The only downside is that you really have to stick to your schedule in order to fit everything in. When I taught self-contained, if we didn't finish something in the morning that I thought was super important, we could use some of the afternoon time to finish up. With switching classes though, you have less flexibility and really have to stick to the schedule.
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Class
Old 06-10-2020, 06:40 AM
 
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We have several grade levels who do the class switching. The teachers love it!

However, Iím wondering if they will be able to do this if classes are supposed to stay together due to the CDC safe schools reopening guidelines.
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Curious...
Old 06-10-2020, 07:08 AM
 
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Quote:
However, Iím wondering if they will be able to do this if classes are supposed to stay together due to the CDC safe schools reopening guidelines.
I never thought of this! Just curious though, do you think it would be considered acceptable if the teacher switched rooms instead of the kids? Then the kids are staying in the same place, same desk, etc. and it's just the teachers switching. So if I teach social studies and my partner teaches science, instead of her kids coming to me for social studies and my kids going to her for science, I go to her room to teach her kids social studies and she comes to my room to teach my kids science?


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Old 06-10-2020, 09:28 AM
 
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That is one of my concerns about switching. I know teaching will look very different in the fall but I cant imagine teaching math from a cart. I constantly have to grab new things depending on what is working or not working in a lesson. Also, laughing stuff to other rooms is a pain. I just cant decide!
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Teachers switch....
Old 06-10-2020, 09:43 AM
 
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We are exploring different options for the start of school. We are leaning towards teachers switching....including special area teachers. I have no idea how this will all pan out. It will be interesting.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:00 AM
 
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Before this year, I would have said stay self-contained. But this year I taught only ELA and math, and i really liked it. I think who your team is makes a huge difference. If I didn't still get input on the other subjects and we didn't still have cross-discipline projects, I don't think I'd have liked it as much.

That said, we're probably going to have to go back to self-contained this year because it looks like we're going to have to keep students and teachers in stable groupings.
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Ask yourself...
Old 06-10-2020, 10:38 AM
 
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What are you more comfortable doing online? This virus is probably going to shut schools again at some point. What type of personality do you have?

I am on a team that departmentalizes in the afternoon and I hate it. I like teaching all subjects and miss having the fun of science, social studies, as well as the extra time. When we went to online, I was able to intergrate lessons with my own class and loved it.

Everyone one is different. Pick what you want to do.
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