Stacey believes in an education system where teachers are valued and empowered to make decisions about what is best for their own classroom. However, she found herself in an environment where there was an emphasis on the quantity of teachers in the classroom, rather than on the quality of the teachers.
Stacey was feeling overwhelmed by the number of teachers who were teaching her students on any given day (up to six different educators per day!) and her primary school learners were feeling the same way. She was often greeted with questions like “Will you be with us today?”. All of the educators coming into Stacey’s classroom to support her learners were bringing with them a specialised skill set, however the lack of continuity made learning and relationship building trickier than it needed to be.
Stacey approached her principal and executive staff with her concerns about her ‘over-crowded’ classroom and the impact she thought it was having on student achievement, engagement and behaviour.
Stacey and her epic Instructional Leader revised the school’s timetable with the main goal of streamlining classroom support. As a result, instead of having four different specialised support teachers in a classroom at different times throughout the day, they reworked the timetable to have one support teacher with a more flexible focus in each classroom.
They then arranged for some whole-staff PL in content and techniques that classroom teachers identified as areas of need so that there was some collective ownership over the changes and to try to ensure that everyone felt confident.
Over the last 12 months, Stacey has managed to transform the learning environment for all learners in K-2 classes in her school. That means that 280 students are benefiting from more continuity in their learning.
Like the idea?
Stacey would love your support for The Overcrowded Classroom, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Stacey and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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