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Opinions please!(20 Posts)
When the new year’s class teachers were announced before the summer holidays we found out that DD’s class would be having 2 teachers. One for four days and one for the remaining one day.
I thought this was OK, happens a lot with part time stomach etc and is usually fine.
Schools went back yesterday and it’s now been changed to 3 teachers. 2 days, 2 days and 1 day.
What’s anybody’s opinion on this? My immediate reaction is that there will be no consistency, existing behavioural problems in the class won’t be dealt with properly etc
I want to question the school about it but not sure what to say?
The kids are age 8.
I wouldn't worry about it too much since it's upper primary. Suppose each teacher will be teaching their stronger subject?
But it may depend on each teacher and how they plan to work as a team, so I would keep an eye on it.
But having 3 good teachers is better than having 1 crappy teacher, imo.
Each one will take responsibility for a section like maths English science
They then agree X does PE and Y does computing Z is in charge of P4C or whatever
Should run fairly smoothly - if they tag team and communicate well
Personally I think 2 teachers is fine- 3 does sound quite excessive (Parents evenings/ reports etc.. are all 3 going to have imput??)
My child has had 2 teachers (Main and a trainee) and a different teacher for PPA which I did not mind as the student and teacher worked alongside each other.
I would want to know the timetable- and what was happening on the days- but I would not be too chuffed to be honest. I am a Year 1 teacher (4 days a week) and I think of it as my class as i am the main teacher- if I had another 2 teachers it would be hard.
Hopefully it will work well! x
Actually, I think it may work quite well, since each teacher will be teaching and planning lessons for limited amount, rather than entire curriculum. Some teacher maybe good at maths but not so good at literacy teaching, etc.
I think you should see how it goes, and if you think there's problem, speak to the school. But you never know, it may be great for your dc.
The thing is - the headteacher hasn't decided to run it like this because they think it would be fun, or even because they particularly think it's a good idea. Someone's circumstances have changed or the head's been let down and this is the solution to get a teacher in front of your child's class five days per week Getting arsey (not that you're saying you will) will achieve nothing.
Wait and see how it goes, and if there are problems, raise them appropriately as they do, but don't assume the worst!
@Thundercracker in no way do I think the head teacher has decided to do this for fun, neither do I intend to be ‘arsey’ about it.
Just gathering opinions so I can send a quick email (or not) asking how days / duties etc will be divided and how the continuity we were promised after a challenging year last year will be maintained.
It’s a difficult one to judge.
It's certainly a situation we would try to avoid at the school where I work. I presume that in this case, it's unavoidable.
The three teachers will have to work extremely hard to ensure continuity of classroom approach, a seamless flow of information and progression in lessons.
I'm not sure what querying it will achieve really as in presumably this is the only option and the HT is basically going to say everyone will work hard to make it work and has confidence in her staff blah blah
Id be inclined to only raise it as an issue if it actually becomes one.
I wouldn't really be happy with 3 teachers for consistency. 2 has worked well for DD1 last year - one teacher didn't particularly like her (it's understandable - she can be hard going at times) so at least that little personality clash was minimised and the other teacher really really did understand the best way to deal with her and manage her behaviour well
and had no intention of ever going back full time ! They'd split the curriculum so had full mornings of Maths or English depending on whose day it was rather than trying to split the subject in half.
I suppose in a way they had 3 teachers as in that things like PE were taught externally so they had the PE company in for those sessions but the behaviour management in those sessions was somewhat less than glowing shall we say?!
Quite common here in lreland to have 2 and it usually works really well. They play to their strengths so the dc get the best of them. Haven't heard of 3 but l would expect the best and see how it goes. Your dc might love it. I would say nothing now and see what happens.
Where I have experienced job shares (where I am a governor we have a few and my children have had them) it’s always been two teachers and it works really well. Mainly because the teachers were very good. I have never seen three and I think that’s not so easy to manage and will be hard work. It will be very difficult to be consistent. Assessment will be extremely difficult. Three people agreeing on progress? Marking will be difficult too. They will have to be highly organised.
Also, I have never seen a school adjust the timetable according to a teacher’s strengths. So on job shares, Maths is taught every day, not exclusively on two days because the 3 day teacher isn’t good at it. Children at primary age shouldn’t be doing one subject for a whole morning because the teacher is not capable of teaching maths or literacy as required. We expect all our teachers to be capable of teaching everything. Opting out of teaching maths just isn’t possible! For anyone. Of course there are preferences but not at the expense of the children.
I would keep an eye on how seemless it is. I would worry about the 1 day a week teacher. I hope they don’t see it as “sitting in” to mind the class. Who is taking responsibility for day to day communication? I would keep an eye on homework and marking and when you go in for parents evening, ask to see evidence of progress. Hope it works though because I guess there wasn’t an alternative.
Just because you've not seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen (but you usually insist it does).
They've swapped over subjects halfway through the year incidentally so one half didn't avoid teaching Maths and vice versa. Ofsted were perfectly happy with that - absolutely glowing report this year. The school have done it across the year groups with jobshares in - so they have a morning of Maths or English in all the classes where there's a job share going on.
I've done supply for years - I've seen more permutations of different setups and ways of doing things than most people - and it's definitely not a unique way of doing things... and personally I prefer it over these setups where Mrs Mon-Wed is doing number work in Maths and then Mrs Thurs-Fri takes over and the class suddenly jump across to shape space and measures in different books and it all gets a bit "bitty" all over the place.
Ofsted are back next year to do a full inspection with a view to getting the school Outstanding so it must be doing something very very right (they are - I've been in and around for loads of particularly the Maths sessions all year and the depth of teaching is superb - the added time means the kids who find it a bit harder really do get the time to grasp it well).
My DS year 1 had 4 teachers in a class of about 20!! I thought it odd but actually it was really helpful. They all had different subjects to teach and it done well for behaviour and focusing on individuals. He loved the class and seemed to learn a lot more and enjoyed it.
I don't think it's ideal, but presumably the school can't find a better option. A result of the teaching crisis I think. I think it would be manageable though not brilliant.
Thanks for your experiences & opinions. I guess we’ll see how it goes.
5000: Ofsted are coming back with a view to getting the school to Outstanding - they never say this! You are of course entitled to your opinions (stated as fact) and I to mine. I have many, many, years in education management.
Presuming this is in Scotland, as they're already back at school, so Ofsted doesn't apply
If it's a well-managed school it shouldn't be an issue. There were a few job shares at ds' primary school (ds' P1 teachers were a job share and were brilliant). Add in the "McCrone" time and there are already more than 2 teachers involved.
Ds' primary school was very used to "team teaching" though as it has a lot of EAL children, so has extra bi-lingual and EAL teachers plus extra TAs, so it's second nature for them.
We had 2 months of 3-way jobshare at the end of last term, end of Y3 so mostly 8 year olds. 1 day / 3 days / 1 day.
One of the one-day teachers was the overall 'responsible' (due to being an in-house teacher whereas the other two were supply). So this is who we saw for parents evening. Which meant that when we asked questions the answer was often literally 'I don't know' (which makes sense, as this teacher had taught the class for a total of 8 days...). We never met the other two teachers.
I guess it can work well. In our case it didn't. Perhaps because it was only ever a stop-gap solution, it felt like none of the three teachers was really taking 'ownership' of the class. Nobody was able to answer questions. The two one-day teachers also swapped around their days a lot so we never knew when to try to catch the 'responsible' one and the other two would re-direct any questions to that one.
The children really needed some consistency and clear rules when this all started, which wasn't given. Instead, the more unruly kids played the teachers off each other and got away with blue murder. The quieter kids went completely quiet and invisible.The bullied child gave up asking for help.
By the end of the school year none of the teachers had built any kind of meaningful connections to most of the kids. Let alone was able to accurately assess them. Let alone provide them with work at their levels. The work the children were given was completely random. The end of the school year was a write-off.
Having said all this, IMO the reason it didn't work well in our case lies within the school leadership. To make this work, there should have been an information offensive IMO - so that the children and parents (and teachers, for that matter) know exactly who will be teaching when, what the arrangement is for subject-specific questions e.g. 'topic' on a specific weekday, does it stay on that day or move with the teacher when the teacher does a different weekday that week, same with homework due weekdays - if Mrs X teaches Monday instead of Fri this week, is homework still due Wednesday? Everybody incl teachers needs to be crystal clear as to how behaviour is dealt with, and stick to it. There can be no
passing on the buck deferring questions/responsibilities to each other.
Also the school leadership ought to have strongly supported the three teachers in working together/coordinating. Instead it felt very much like they were just happy to be able to put a teacher in front of the class and didn't care about anything else. It felt like they had written off the end of the school year already and were just covering their minimal legal duty. Of course the teachers in this situation might find it hard to work up the enthusiasm to do all that extra coordinating work, unsupported and un-lauded, for a job they were leaving at the end of the year anyway...
So, if something like this were proposed for an indefinite term, I would expect some very clear information on how things will be organised, and if this were not forthcoming, I would be asking for it - not waiting for problems to arise and then not knowing who to speak to.
Some schools seem to be confident at this kind of information. Other schools (such as ours) treat the internal organisation of the school like a state secret ('No, I'm afraid I cannot tell you which days they usually have PE'; when the school library was silently abolished and parents asked which days their children would be visiting the library, the answer was not 'oh sorry we don't have a library any more' but rather 'I'm sorry, we can't tell you that' and similar...) so if your school is of the latter type, I would be very worried; if it is the former, it may well work.
The success of a class share depends on communication. Get that right and things should run smoothly.
It isn't unusual for the teachers to organise things around subject strengths with one teacher taking responsibility for a subject and as long as the curriculum is covered over the year it doesn't make any difference to the outcomes.