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Two Teacher Classrooms

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Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Two Teacher Classrooms Reply with quote

I teach second grade ESL and I have an instructional assistant in the classroom all day. This year, the assistant is a certified elementary school teacher, which is very helpful while doing various lessons. While reading Negotiating Language Policies in Schools, it discusses the different ways that students view teachers in their classrooms. While having an assistant is extremely helpful, I do often find myself critical of how she teaches and speaks to the students. I try not to interfere, but it is difficult because ultimately the class is my responsibility. Does anyone have any similar experiences?
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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For sure it is your responsibility to train her to your ways. Just arrange for a quiet time with food and talk about your goals for each child. If she understands why you let this child do that and why you encourage this child in a certain way, it will help a lot.

Don't worry that you will hurt her feelings. She is complaining about you to someone else - hopefully in private. We all have our quirks but this is your classroom so you get to say what atmosphere you want. It is a long year and you don't want to be stressed.

But do give her some responsibility to help her train to become a classroom teacher on her own. It might even help to have a colleague come and observe you both on her/his free period and make suggestions.

Do get to know her in other situations as well so you can be more at ease with each other. Our Mongolian bosses got us drunk (or tried to as I drank Sprite) every month and all the teachers yelled at each other for the transgressions they had made the last month and because everyone was drunk, no one "remembered". It really took the pressure off but people shaped up. You don't know that scratching your ear really bothers another teacher or saying 10 "ums" at the end of every sentence or throwing the chalk up in the air as you walk in front of the chalk board while talking. Those are things you can change.

If it is deeper or more serious you can take her along to the principal and explain the situation but I wouldn't let it get that far. If she has been trained, she has the basics and just needs the practice. She will get a lot of that from modeling your behaviour. If she is not modeling it, you might not be doing what you think you are doing or she is not learning and will need more specific guidance.
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Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 12
Location: New Jersey, US

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:01 am    Post subject: Two teacher classroom Reply with quote

I wonder if this is a common occurrence in two-teacher classrooms; I had a conversation with a teacher regarding these same issues. Different teaching styles surface when collaborating with others. It is best to learn from one another and most of all, it is very important for the two teachers to communicate constantly and to be on the same page regarding what is best for the students; ultimately, it is for the students' benefit.
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