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Chapter 15 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD How to Implement Team Teaching Teaching ability varies from teacher to teacher.

. Some teachers have superior lecturing skills, but they feel helpless when dealing one on one; others work effectively with individuals but become intimidated in group situations. Because of the wide differences in professional teaching talent, team teaching is one way teachers utilize their finest teaching capabilities. Switching from traditional methods of teaching to team teaching must be planned slowly, carefully, and cautiously. In the developmental stages, the major concern is motivating children toward independent study. Two teachers can successfully instruct large groups ranging from 60 to 125 students; however, independent study will be more flexible in smaller groups of 12 to 18 children. Small group instruction lends itself to the exchange of ideas. A planning meeting is essential when developing team instruction. If feasible, plan to meet either in the morning before school begins or in the afternoon after school ends: otherwise, schedule this planning session during teachers conference times. All teachers involved must be present for the planning session and must communicate their talents and strengths openly and sincerely in order to be properly integrated into the team. A decision must be made to either appoint a team leader or to allow leadership to grow from the professionals within the team. Team members with experience can use their training to help those who are new to team teaching. Each teacher can contribute by developing outlines for subject areas and by writing revisions, along with volunteering innovative ideas. Remain sensitive to all teachers opinions and viewpoints. Strive to ensure that teams are evenly balanced. Observing schools with effective team teaching programs in operation can provide ideas and proven methods for achieving success. An initial approach to team-teaching is to place an experienced teacher with a less experienced teacher. They could be assigned 60 children in a 90-minute class period. Another approach would be to combine teachers and students for one particular 41

subject, for example mathematics, allowing teachers with less experience to teach the area they are best qualified in and allowing the more experienced teachers to teach other math areas. Sometimes placing three teachers with 125 children yields effective results. This entire class would be involved in small group, large group, and individualized instruction in a rotating fashion. Another teaming technique would be to have three teachers working with children, each instructing in the area he or she is best qualified to perform successfully. Regardless of the approach used, team objectives must be evaluated continuously in order to maintain education of high quality. Individualized instruction places additional responsibility for learning directly onto the shoulders of the student; therefore, assignments must be meaningful and challenging. Activities must be well-planned with a balance between scheduled learning activities and large and small group instruction. Students must be trained to take notes quickly and effectively. Intermediate grade students must learn how to listen intelligently and how to use classroom study time efficiently. Alert teachers working with children must recognize individual differences in children, or they are doomed to failure. Wellplanned, differentiated, and balanced activities provide for individual differences in children, as well as satisfy the personal needs and aspirations of the teachers on the team. Teacher planning time must be spent preparing, evaluating, gathering, and perfecting various visual and instructional aids that will be suitable for each lecture and learning activity. Keep in mind that guest speakers may be obtained from the present staff, local community, and parents who have special abilities. Team teaching is a proven alternative that stimulates, energizes, and promotes teacher to teacher communication. Oftentimes, teacher burnout is eliminated because teachers who are a part of a successful team program feel excited about their work. Team teaching, even if well executed, may not be the answer to the continuous riddle of how to improve classroom instruction for children at the elementary school level. However, team teaching does create an environment that encourages improvement. Teacher confidence is heightened. Teachers sense personal and professional achieve42

ment, and they are ultimately satisfied with their jobs.

A Thought in Words The School Master is abroad, and I trust him, armed with his primer, against the solider in full military array. Brougham

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