Self-contained v. departmentalized classrooms - ProTeacher Community


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Self-contained v. departmentalized classrooms
Old 04-25-2007, 09:46 AM
 
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Hello, teachers. I am an elementary education student expecting to graduate within a year. I have completed observation/practicum hours in both departmentalized and self-contained classrooms. As of now, I find the self-contained class more appealing. Which do you all prefer?


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self-contained
Old 04-25-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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self - contained
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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Can you tell me why? Thanks.
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Self-Contained
Old 04-26-2007, 10:25 AM
 
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I recommend self-contained (SC). I have tried both. SC is great because you have more flexibility and control in your classroom. Behavior problems are reduced because your kids know what is expected of them. The other class knows what is expected of them, but unless it is consistent throughout the day, they won't remember. Teaming was bad for me because my partner didn't have the same philosophy as me and we were not on the same page when it came to management, homework, behavior, discipline, etc... It was a stressful year! I was SC last year (my 1st year teaching) and it was much less stressful compared to this year. I bet that would be different if I had a partner that I was compatible with. The one good thing about teaming is the lack of lesson planning you only have to plan for what you are teaching. So its easier for planning, but more difficult in other respects. Sorry if I sound like Im rambling!
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Departmentalized!!
Old 04-26-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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We began departmentalization this year, and we LOVE it. We are going to continue it next year and our whole district will be doing it in 4th and 5th grade. We only change once a day--we pick up a different class after lunch, so changing is very easy. My partner teaches LA/SS and I teach Math/Science. We both love our subjects and I guess one reason it works so well is that she and I are close in what we expect of students and behavior. There are disadvantages, but we feel the students are getting ready for middle school when they change 6 times, instead of 2.
Hope this helps.


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Old 04-27-2007, 06:56 AM
 
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These are both vaild points of view. I can see what each of you are saying. Right now I think I would prefer a self-contained classroom, but that may change once I actually begin teaching. Thanks so much for your replies.
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both
Old 04-27-2007, 08:11 AM
 
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I like both and they each have pros and cons. Currently I am teaching self-contained but have taught departmental.
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hmmmmmmmmmm
Old 04-27-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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I've taught on a three person team sharing the students among us, as well as on a 4 person team sharing with just a team teacher, and self contained.
I've been able to get a great deal more accomplished in the self-contained setting, although as previously mentioned, the amount of planning is greater.
I've worked well with one of the team teachers, and the other was a nightmare! Talked the talk, yet DID NOT walk the walk.
I know my students much better when they are with me all day long and I have the flexibility that would not be there if we were departmentalized.
Pros & Cons.........weight them out according to what you know about yourself. It's really going to boil down to good planning and good instruction, so if you do departmentalize, make CERTAIN you and the other teacher are truly compatible!
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My "opinion"...
Old 04-28-2007, 05:40 AM
 
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I've done both, too. I much, much prefer to keep my kids all day. I felt like we accomplished so much more of the curriculum, my kids knew the expectations, I knew my kids so much better, and it was just a much calmer atmosphere.

In my opinion, self-contained is better for the students and departmentalizing is easier for the teacher.
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Self-Contained
Old 04-28-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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I took a maternity leave position last year in a school where 4th graders switched classes once or twice a day (the schedule was different each day of the week). I found that the kids that came to me from the other classroom treated me more like a substitute than the kids I started the day with. Also, the kids seemed to forget to write down assignments and important test dates and their grades reflected that, so the parents weren't happy. I don't know, I just feel like most 4th graders aren't responsible or mature enough to switch classes. I have my own self-contained classroom this year and it works so much better because I have them all day and I know when all of their test dates are so I can remind them. Next year I will have to switch classes once a day with the 5th grade teacher so I can teach religion to both classes (we're a Catholic school and she's not Catholic). I'm sure it won't be as bad because it's only one class but I don't know what she's going to teach yet so who knows!! I hope my group next year can handle it!
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