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Team teaching?!

(23 Posts)
TheStudyOfLife Sat 07-Mar-20 21:52:45


Was hoping someone can help me- I have a new PGCE student in with one of my classes. They're supposed to be taking the class, but have said they'd be more comfortable "team teaching" to begin with.

I've barely had a minute to chat to them, but when I suggested they take the class for an activity, the response was that they'd rather "team teach". I had to run so couldn't get them to expand on this, but my communication via email has been equally non-enlightening.

What do most people consider to be "team teaching"? I kind of assumed it would be me taking most of the lesson, with them running a starter or other clearly defined section. Really struggling to know what they expect...

I'm somewhat concerned about the whole thing anyway, as it's for a completely different subject to their own subject, they haven't studied it since GCSE, and they don't seem hugely keen to be remotely proactive with speaking to me, getting to know the class or subject, or teaching them at all.

But in summary, what the hell is "team teaching"?!

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BackforGood Sat 07-Mar-20 23:35:45

I think you have to ask them to be very specific about what they mean by the term.
Any number of us can tell you what we might think our definition is, but that is irrelevant if it isn't what they have in mind.

Also (I've generally had B.Ed students rather than PGCEs but), isn't there a framework set out as to what they have to do, rather than what they 'fancy doing' ?

TheStudyOfLife Sat 07-Mar-20 23:50:20

I agree- but have wholeheartedly failed in getting any helpful communication from them and now have to plan the lesson, including this mysterious "team teaching", this weekend confused

There should be a framework- but they claim there's no set requirements for hours as it's not their main subject. I'm not at all convinced by that and will be following it up.

My worry is they think "team teaching" means I teach, and they occasionally butt in or jump around the room, or act as a TA- I definitely don't want the first, and the second, if it continues, is a cop-out.

In the past with trainees they've a) actually communicated with me b) taken an interest in the class/topic c) observed for the first half of term, then taken over teaching properly. Not that I'm unimpressed already, of course... hmm

Just curious as to what the norm is really!

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BookMeOnTheSudExpress Sat 07-Mar-20 23:53:53

What you defined as your idea of TT in your first post is what you then (more or less) said you imagined the PGCE student thought TT was.

We do a lot of TT and it (in my school) means planning together and deciding who is going to do which bit. That's how I teach TT when I'm training as well.

BackforGood Sat 07-Mar-20 23:58:18

I think I would e-mail back then, and simply state
"As you haven't been able to explain to me what it is you want to do, and I need to have my lesson planned by 2pm, I will plan this lesson and for this lesson only, I will plan for you to work as an assistant, and have planned that work for you but
We need to meet straight after school tomorrow to get this clarified as obviously you need to plan your teaching, and I am here to guide / support you, but not actually do it for you"
Simply because I think it will be easier for you, and a better lesson for the dc, if you do it that way, than if you direct them to do the introduction or plenary or explain one aspect of it or whatever, and they don't do it, or do it in a way you totally didn't mean, or something.

Wou;d definitely follow up what they ought to be doing though, and also find out why they are doing a subject they aren't comfortable with.

Smurfy23 Sun 08-Mar-20 00:02:05

When we had trainees in "team teaching" would be they did a bit of the lesson- e.g. the starter and then id do the rest, next time they might do the starter and the plenary or another activity and then gradually build up so after a week or so they had it all. But yes as others have said it could mean something else entirely!!

LorenzoStDubois Sun 08-Mar-20 00:03:53

The PGCE student is taking the piss and clearly has no interest in teaching your class.

I'd be setting them very straight on monday and telling them they are taking the class from tuedsay.

I would also be contacting their tutor / college to set them straight too. And the school principal.

TheStudyOfLife Sun 08-Mar-20 00:14:18

@BookMeOnTheSudExpress What you defined as your idea of TT in your first post is what you then (more or less) said you imagined the PGCE student thought TT was.

Sorry maybe I wasn't clear- I expected it to be clearly defined roles within the lesson, e.g. they do a starter, then I do the rest (like @Smurfy23 says), whereas I'm starting to get the impression what they mean is that I take the lesson and they either interrupt, or interfere, or at best act as a TA, with zero planning or discussion, so wanted an idea of what others consider the norm.

@BackforGood I think I'll have to take that approach- somewhat frustrating, as I've asked they share their timetable with me twice now but still no sign (it's a very large school with added site complications meaning I can't just track them down in a central area, and their timetable isn't on SIMS).

The more I think about it the less impressed I'm getting grin

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TheStudyOfLife Sun 08-Mar-20 00:15:19

@LorenzoStDubois I think you might be right!

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Chocolateandchats Sun 08-Mar-20 00:22:36

I’m a BA Teaching student and if I asked a teacher to Team teach I would expect us to plan together and then do the starter and plenary or the main teaching. Your student sounds either lazy or seriously lacking confidence in their abilities; neither bodes well.

BookMeOnTheSudExpress Sun 08-Mar-20 00:22:52

Ah ok, I get it.
It does sound like they're not quite as into "team" as they might think!

TheStudyOfLife Sun 08-Mar-20 00:41:11

I'm fairly sure it's not a confidence issue- have only met him once but definitely didn't get that impression!

I believe the reason for taking on the second subject is to boost employability, which may explain the apparent lack of "giving a shit"- particularly as they've already secured a job hmm

Fingers crossed my first impressions have been overly pessimistic and I'm actually just being a bitch for no need... but in the meantime I'll be keeping a very close eye on the number of minutes/hours of actual teaching, in case it ends up mysteriously exaggerated on the paperwork later on!

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LorenzoStDubois Sun 08-Mar-20 01:16:25

Yep - I've seen plenty people like this, in all walks of life.
They'll just sit back and let some other poor dumdum run around, trying to get everything done, like a daftie.

Email her today to sort it out and pull her up on it on Monday.

LorenzoStDubois Sun 08-Mar-20 01:17:43

Its a man!
You need to nip this in the bud now.
Sounds like schoolday wifework to me.

EstebanTheMagnificent Sun 08-Mar-20 07:08:23

Team teaching is fine for the first placement (and my understanding is like yours - trainee leads the starter or specific activity) but for their second placement at this point in the year they have to be teaching independently. They are more than halfway through their course.

Fuzzyspringroll Sun 08-Mar-20 07:53:25

During a PGCE, it usually means they plan with you and then take a specific part of the lesson, which gets gradually more.

I team-teach with my colleague because we have two teachers per class (primary), so, yes, I say something, she translates...she says something and we basically run the show together. However, we are both experienced and work well as a team. ;) We've had our class for two years and are at a point where we use the same phrases at the same an old, married couple. :D

RhymingRabbit3 Sun 08-Mar-20 08:02:45

Do they have a mentor and could you speak to them regarding timetable etc. and your concerns. The mentor should have set time each week to meet with the trainee so should be able to talk to them about it.

I would also consider team teaching to be them doing a set part of the lesson. I would consider just emailing them to say "the topic of Thursdays lesson is X, please can you plan a starter and send me your plan by Wednesday morning"

TheStudyOfLife Sun 08-Mar-20 12:26:01

Thanks all, feeling very reassured that I'm not totally off-base!

I'm planning to be a bit firmer with setting out my expectations, rather than asking theirs, and will speak to their mentor this week about the course requirements. hmm

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MsJaneAusten Sun 08-Mar-20 20:37:11

If you’ve only met him once, has he met the class? I’d not expect a PGCE student to teach even part of a lesson to one of my classes without observing me with them for at least two lessons first. I have a student teaching one of my classes tomorrow, but she’s been observing for a month and taught two starters last week.

To answer the actual question, team teaching to me means shared planning then deciding who’s teaching which bit.

sakura06 Sun 08-Mar-20 22:56:33

I think you need to talk to their mentor, and if this arrangement doesn't work for you, they stick to teaching their main subject.

BackforGood Mon 09-Mar-20 23:13:17

What happened today @TheStudyOfLife ?

AngelaScandal Mon 16-Mar-20 21:36:33

Following with intense interest

TheStudyOfLife Tue 17-Mar-20 22:38:39

Sorry for delay!

I'll be taking them for the next couple of lessons whilst they observe and brush up, then will be handing over short segments of the lesson and building up (as I'd expect normally). I went with telling them that was what we'd do as otherwise I think the rest of the year would go by with me doing all the planning and teaching, and random interjections from them at inopportune moments grin

Thanks for all your support and ideas- will be back if any problems arise for more advice! wink

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