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Teaching two subject to two classes at the same time

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Romany1, May 18, 2019.

  1. Romany1

    Romany1 New commenter

    I have been required to deliver two different modules to two different classes in the same classroom at the same time.

    1. Is there any legal comeback (as a result of this I am in trouble)
    2. Does this detrimentally impact upon the time given to learners. Could the students complain about being misled when the signed up to the course as this possibility wasn't stated?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Unless the classes are studying basically the same subject (I remember some MFL teachers having to 'deliver' - horrible word - AS & A2 concurrently), and are pretty bright, I'd say this is almost certainly putting you up to fail.

    I wonder what the parents of the pupils would think...Do they actually know?;)
    Catgirl1964, steely1, bajan and 3 others like this.
  3. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    Good God. What a shambles. How has this come about?

    At O-level I wanted to take history. I had had a serious falling out with the teacher of O-level European history so I was put in the CSE Social and Economic history class and the teacher taught me O-level European history separately alongside the rest of the class. It worked because I was clever, self-motivated and the rest of the class ignored me. Must have been a nightmare for the teacher though. Good on her for helping me to a top grade.

    But two separate even-sized groups? How do you stop one lot hearing what the others are being taught? What if they find it more engaging than "their" module?
    saluki likes this.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Probably not. Make sure that any reservations you have about this have been put in writing to your managers with copies retained by you. (email them and a bcc to your private email address).
    Also keep your own documentation showing how you managed parallel learning activities.

    It seems fairly obvious that it will detrimentally affect the time given to learners. They could complain, but probably won't get anywhere. It will ensure that the learners have to do rather more independent work - this might be a good thing.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Guess you might have to do it.
    Teaching two modules in itself could be done.
    Set a task for Group A, teach a task to group B, then swap.
    Presumably staffing does not allow two concurrent classes.
    Or perhaps the class sizes would be too small to be viable.
    The crux of it might be that if you refused to do it, it would otherwise not be feasible.
    So my line would be that.
    What do I want for the kids? A diluted teaching experience, or none whatsoever?

    The clue is in being "required".
    Contractually you probably have to do it.

    Edit-the above post makes sense-they will need and benefit from some autonomy.
    Problems might come with weaker students, but then you might try what I have always done in mixed ability exam groups, which is have a rolling programme of one to one teacher time-can take about two or three weeks to see each one, then start again, while the others work independently. You'll also find that there will be some weeks when despite doing separate modules you can still teach them altogether eg exam skills or revision sessions,
    Get them in computer rooms to work when you can-this is more engaging to them when working independently. It is what it is.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Just before retiring I volunteered to teach geography as the school was short of a teacher. I ended up with two yr 7 classes that I took for both science and geography. It took a bit of juggling especially as most geog lessons were timetabled for my lab. However after a term is was able to take a longer view and actually swapped some lessons about so I could have a run of science to get a particular practical taken care of then have a run of geog to be a bit more intense on a topic. I was lucky that both HoDs trusted me and gave me the freedom to follow my own line. What I really pleasing is that on a recent supply gig at my old school I could see that the geog teachers were still using resources that I had created!
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I also recall that when I did my 'degree' (Royal Society of Chemistry) the college didn't have enough students to justify a yr 2 and yr 3 class so we were combined. Half of us did yr 3 first and then yr 2 with the next group coming through.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    the thread title says "two subjects" but the opening post says "two different modules".
    Which is it?

    **imagines farcical attempt to teach PE and Food Tech simultaneously-pancake race anyone?**
  9. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Indeed. In Scotland,it would not be unusual for National 5 and Higher (or Higher/Advanced Higher) to be delivered in the same class. Not ideal but the only way to let pupils taking a subject if it's deemed that numbers cannot allow for a class to be timetabled.
  10. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    More detail is needed..... Is it the same subject to different year groups? How many students? What's their ability level?
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'm guessing from your 'as a result of this I am in trouble' comment, that you have been teaching this way since September and someone has suddenly decided that standards are not all they should be.
    If this is the case, then you need far more expertise help than you can get from here. You must speak to your union and get their support.

    Yes the students can complain, but they should have done so long before now.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    There was a year when I had to teach two different subjects to two different KS4 classes in two different classrooms (albeit adjoining) at the same time. I kid you not.

    On another occasion I had 5 lessons per week for my KS4 subject. Students would be timetabled for 2,3 or 5 lessons dependent upon ability and other subject choices. The combination of lessons they turned up for would differ between students, even if they'd been allocated the same total number of lessons with me.

    The HT called it "flexible learning". You can imagine what I called it.
  13. Smithsboy

    Smithsboy New commenter

    In a sensible world, the question to answer is simply "would either/both groups get a better teaching/learning experience if they were taught on their own?". The answer is mostly always "Yes". End of story.
  14. Goldopals

    Goldopals New commenter

    It is bloody difficult and almost impossible unless the kids are on your side, can work independently and you are extra well organised. In country SA this is very common, especially in small schools so more subjects can be offered. My last year at my old school, every class was like this.
    -11/12 Chem
    - 11/11/11 Maths
    - 12/12 Maths
    - 10 Science (earn and learn pathways)
    - year nine maths (35 kids of abilities ranging from struggling with Pythagoras to non right angled trigonometry)

    You have to organise and stick to it when different classes have direct instruction; set lessons or parts of lessons. Will you make sure each group has done direct instruction at done point of the lesson or night work independently for whole lessons.

    You have to have very clear plans that the kids have a copy of so they can get on with it. You would need to do flipped learning for at least some of the time. You'd need structure lessons so one group would watch a video while the other received direct instruction. You might set discussion questions for after this video.

    You'd have online quizzes for the independent working group to compete at the end of each lesson to assess understanding and use as a basis for the next lesson. Have a library of YouTube videos prepared.

    It sucks. It really does. At one point in that year I had 12 subjects (no single subject periods). I taught 25/30 (50 min lessons), and all subjects were 5 periods per week. I don't know how I survived that year
  15. Caity52

    Caity52 New commenter

    I teach in a tiny international school and the norm for us is two yeargroups per class even up to y10/11 classes so I, along with everyone else, am teaching two years of IGCSE at the same time and have the added complication that there are also a number of students who joined in y10 or 11 with no prior knowledge of my subject who I also have to support at their own level although they will not be taking the exams. Oh and there is one student taking A level as she has already completed IGCSE in Y9. Somehow we make it work but it’s not easy and I can’t imagine how it could work if we were also looking at two different subjects.
  16. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

  17. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    How difficult it will be also depends on what sort of students are in the class. It might work well motivated students but it could be a nightmare with a class of 'headbangers'. For a couple of years, a bottom set GCSE group was amalgamated with one doing 'Science at Work' (a course for very low ability students). The combined class had about twenty students in it, too. It was awful!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Sounds like a poor school to me. The cost cutting possibilities are endless. Why not get five teachers to teach all the classes in the school in this manner??
  19. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Design and Technology and Drama anyone.......’It was Callum in the workshop with the coping saw.’
    agathamorse likes this.

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