Will Team Teaching – 5 Teachers Instructing 80-100 Students – Gain Traction?

Will Team Teaching – 5 Teachers Instructing 80-100 Students – Gain Traction?

Will changing the traditional teaching model from one teacher instructing 25-30 students to five-six teachers instructing 80-100 students in a classroom meet the nationwide teacher shortage? WXYZ (Channel 7, Detroit) received responses from more than 1,200 Facebook followers.

Ndidi Onike-Onuzulike, an 8th grade model teacher at Detroit Academy of the Arts and Sciences, a charter school many refer to as DAAS, joined educators from 10 or so other Michigan school districts on a trip to Arizona earlier this year to watch Arizona State University’s “Next Education Workforce Initiative” in action.

The strategic staffing model brings 80-100 students into a classroom with multiple teachers. After seeing it first-hand, she was impressed. “There is more student-to-teacher interaction in the shared space.”

Dr. Monica McLeod, the Lead Instructional Specialist at DAAS, says the team-teaching approach looks different at different schools.

“At any given time, the 100 students are not going to be in one room. The idea is that the strongest literacy teacher would teach the students, and if there’s a new practitioner, that person would stand alongside the strong, experienced practitioner. And they might have a larger group of 35, 40 students in front of them.”

A top teacher leads the charge, and newer teachers support them while getting the mentoring they need — a method to retain newer teachers and reinvigorate veteran educators.

“It’s hard to think about this model in specific physical spaces, says Lawrence Hood, the chief academic officer at DAAS. “There are lots of different ways to group students. Some of the schools in Arizona put a door in the wall between classrooms to help facilitate the flow of different student groups. Some just had students rotate between classrooms for different groupings based on what students needed,” he says.

He believes the model could be a game changer.

“What we know to be true from the schools that have adopted this model in Arizona is that teachers are staying longer. They are calling out less. There is less of a requirement for substitute teachers because when you have a team of teachers and somebody calls out, the other four say, ‘We’ve got this. We can handle this,'” he says.

DAAS will be rolling out the new teaching model next fall to at least one grade level, possibly two.

Elsey said there are three other school districts in Michigan that are going to launch the new teaching model this fall in at least one grade level.

WXYZ Detroit

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