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Composite class or 2 teachers - which would you choose


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#1 Judydoll

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

School today sent home our choices for next year - composite class Yr 2/3 (DS would be in year 3) or a class with 2 teachers (I assume it is a job share position).

He is currently in a composite 1/2.  We don't feel strongly for/against composite.   Prep and Year 1 were single classes.  

Looking for other people's previous experiences/thoughts.  

Which would you choose - composite or two teachers?

Thanks.

#2 QueenIanthe

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

I would prefer two teachers and I am not a huge fan of composites against different stages.

#3 Broxie

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

2 teachers. It's actually great they're giving you a choice.

#4 eachschoolholidays

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:28 PM

2 teachers - especially when it's cross stage

#5 FuzzyMum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:30 PM

OP, it really depends on the teachers. It really doesn't matter how a class is structured if the teaching staff are not good.

The composite class may be the far better option if the teacher is excellent and the others just average or poor. Also it depends on whether the two teachers work well job sharing. Some pairings just don't work due to a range of reasons which can impact on the kids. Not enough information to judge.

Edited by FuzzyMum, 26 November 2012 - 07:38 PM.


#6 wildflowers

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

My DD has not had a composite class but she did have two teachers and really did not like it.  One teacher she said was grumpy and the other was ok.  A friend of mine though wants her  DD to skip a year caue she was in the lower level of a composite so she thinks she has done all the upper grade so can go ahead.

#7 Expelliarmus

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

With the new curriculum I would be inclined to choose 2 teachers, provided the teachers have been working together successfully already and your child interacts well with his specialist teachers and adapts well to new/different teaching staff in general.

If your child has difficulty transitioning to non contact classes such as PE or Science or LOTE or if he has trouble adapting to relief staff then I would go with the composite one teacher class.

#8 farfaraway

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

2 teachers every time. My experience (as parent and teacher) of job-share teachers (if that is indeed the case here) work bloody hard to ensure they are on the same page. It's two minds working together for one class. Not saying it's always peaches and cream, but an infinitely better option than cross-stage composite IMO.

#9 Julie3Girls

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

My first instinct would be the 2 teachers.
I personally don't like the concept of a 2/3 class. It's cross stage, and all across the infants/primary boundary. My DD was in yr3 of a 2/3 class. The rest of year 3 were in 3/4 classes.  The other kids got a chance to get to know the year 4 kids (which came back to bite us a bit this year when DD was put in a 5/6 class and at the bottom of a composite for the first time)
The 2/3 class were split a lot - things like sports carnivals, swimming carnivals, camp. Even stage assemblies. Their work units were slightly different to the rest of yr3/4 because they had a modified units to try and cover 2 stages.
BUT .. DD1 loved the class, I can't really fault it academically.

All that said, this year, our school did 2/3 classes again. Only this time, they have 2 of them, with the rest of yr3 in a 3/4 class. Because there are two 2/3 classes, it's running much better, with the two classes working together a lot, often breaking along year lines. A lot of the problems I saw with DD1's 2/3 class haven't happened this year.

The 2 teachers ... two of my girls actually have this situation this year. DD3 in kinder has one teacher on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, and a different teacher on Wednesday.  DD2 in her 3/4 class has one teacher mon-Wed, the other teacher on Thurs-Fri.  Both classes, it seems to have worked really well.  The kids aren't bothered by it at all. For my DD3 in kinder, it's not really any different to preschool last year, where she would have different teachers on different days. So she was used to the idea.
And the teachers have worked together well to split up work, so they know where each other is up to on the everyday stuff, and each have their own units to teach as well.


What is the class with 2 teachers? A straight yr3, or a 3/4?
Do you have any experience with the teachers?
How will the 2/3 class work? I'd want some details about this one.

Edited by Julie3Girls, 26 November 2012 - 07:41 PM.


#10 Gudrun

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

Composite with the same teacher every day.

#11 Lyn29

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

As a teacher who shares a composite grade (3/2 day split) I have experience with both!

Normally, composites are not an issue - except when they are cross-level (as in grade 2/3 or 4/5). It can depend on how the school timetables things, but as PP said, sometimes they are split for sports, shows, swimming, camps, excursions, etc. I've taught 4/5 and it was really awkward for me as the teacher (never really belonged to the 3/4 team nor the 5/6 team) but the kids didn't seem to worry about it and academic results weren't affected at all.

Job share - again, as PPs said, it depends on the teachers. There are two women I've shared a grade with where I firmly believe my work was better than if I'd been the sole teacher. This year's teaching partner is lovely, but we are quite different in how we handle things so it's been harder for me. The kids, however, have thrived and have the highest academic test scores in the level and are even outscoring many kids in the level above - so something's working! Next year I am being partnered by someone whose methods and philosophy is quite different to mine, and I'm worried already. Although, I'm worried because my job is to make sure the kids don't suffer by the arrangement and hopefully even benefit from it, so again, my issue and not the kids.

I guess in your situation I'd look at how well the cross-level composites have worked before (if there have been any) and who the two sharing teachers are. Knowing none of these details, I'd choose the job share grade.

#12 liveworkplay

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

Two teachers. DD1 has had this setup for the past 2 years (grade 1 and grade2) It has worked really well as both teacher have had different strengths and interests and therefore the kids get a lot more out of them then if it were a single teacher. In grade 1 DD's teachers had job shared for over 10 years so it all ran very very smoothly. One loved art, the other science so DD got lots of great lessons on her two favorite subjects. This year they have been doing it for just  as long and work well together.

#13 sophiasmum

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:29 AM

I seem to be the minority, but I vote composite. My DD was in year 2 of a 2/3 class last year & went really well. This year she is in 3/4, and DS is in 1/2. There is a straight year 1 class with 2 teacher job share, the feedback from parents is it's working well, but my only experience is composite for both my children.

#14 seepi

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:34 AM

I'd go composite.

We've had two teachers for a kindy (prep) class this year and the kids have found it confusing - one teacher has different rule to the other. also things like bookweek etc they miss out as each teacher thinks the other has told them.

#15 Heather11

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE (howdo @ 26/11/2012, 08:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
With the new curriculum I would be inclined to choose 2 teachers, provided the teachers have been working together successfully already and your child interacts well with his specialist teachers and adapts well to new/different teaching staff in general.

If your child has difficulty transitioning to non contact classes such as PE or Science or LOTE or if he has trouble adapting to relief staff then I would go with the composite one teacher class.



A hundred times this.

While my DS's situation is probably at the extreme end of what can happen considering he has an ASD and doesn't like change, but the year he had two teachers it was a disaster.

As others have said the different expectations, different routines etc didn't work for him.

If however, you have a child that changes don't affect then it probably won't be an issue.



#16 wonder woman

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

QUOTE (Gudrun @ 26/11/2012, 08:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Composite with the same teacher every day.

+1

However, in general, to have a good composite class requires a better teacher than a good straight class.

On the other hand, two wrongs don't make a right.

If the teachers are all good, then students would be more likely to develop and learn more from each other in a composite.

In terms of communication and teaching styles/personalities, one good teacher is usually better than two for students.

Edited by wonder woman, 27 November 2012 - 12:46 PM.


#17 FeralZombieMum

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:43 PM

I would choose a composite class over 2 teachers.

We've had lots of experience with both - there's even been times when my kids have had both at the same time!

I think it's more difficult to have 2 teachers due the communication issues - but this can depend on the needs of your child - with my higher needs kids, it made life harder for them and myself as things weren't passed onto the other teacher.

I also have kids that struggle with change in routine - having 2 teachers made that so much worse.

I like composite classes because those in the lower level can be challenged with the work from the higher level, if they need it, and vice versa - kids that struggle can do the easier work and not feel alone.

Those in the higher level can also learn leadership skills.

#18 mumto3princesses

Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:35 AM

I would choose the composite over the 2 teachers too. We have had both an across stage composite ( DD#2 + DD#3 were in a 2/3 and DD#3 was also in a K/1) and a 2 teachers class.

While the 2 teachers can work well depending on how well they comunicate I found DD#3 struggled a bit with it at first. She doesn't like change and gets quite ancious at times. It was one teacher monday, tuesday and friday and the other wednesday and thursday.

With the across stage composite it really depends on the teacher. My girls had a fantastic teacher that year and she was very well organised. But also that class was a really good group of kids. Usually they are independant workers and not disruptive. Although the teacher discovered DD#2 was not actually an independant worker like we thought (but she's not disruptive at all) and we have since discovered she has inattentive ADHD. There was 3 classes that year for Year 2 the 2/3, a 1/2 and a straight Year 2. I was so glad they got the 2/3. It ended up being a very good year for my girls.

Then again when DD#3 was in the K/1 class she had the deputy principal and while she is a fantastic teacher it was hard for DD#3 as she would get upset whenever her teacher wasn't there.

#19 notorico

Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:46 AM

I think it depends on the teachers. I opted for DS to be in a 2/3 composite this year (he is year 2) because the teacher taking that class is excellent. I also had the choice of a straight year 2 (this teacher's reputation not so strong or a 1/2 which didn't really suit DS because it took a majority of the lower year 2s.

DS has had a fabulous year, the composite has made it easier for his teacher to extend him in the areas in which he excelled. Speaking to the teacher though, she has found the cross stage difficult and is not keen to do it again.

Edited by notorico, 28 November 2012 - 06:49 AM.


#20 Julie3Girls

Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

It really is going to depend massively on the teachers, and how the classes are run.

As I said, the 2/3 class didn't work for us. Most of the yr3 parents had the same complaints. But very few complaints from the yr2 parents. We found when there were compromises, it was generally towards the yr2 class, catering for the younger kids. Which while I can understand, it made it a very hard situation for the yr3 kids. When the class split, the teacher generally went with yr2. The yr3s were either giving a substitute teacher, or split up among other classes. Or were dragged along to k-2 events when they couldn't get a substitute teacher for them, including an end-of-year award thing where every other child there got an award, except for the 10 yr 3 kids. They didn't get to participate, just had to sit through it all. Just one example.  

This year however, with the two 2/3 classes, it's made it work much better. When the classes do need to be split, one teacher takes all the yr2, the other all the yr3.

If your school has had these class structures before (both the 2/3 and the shared teaching), try and talk to other parents, get some feedback as to how well the classes worked, from a parent point of view - the school is going to give you a positive picture of both situations, because this is obviously the way their class/teacher numbers have worked out.

#21 Phascogale

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

Really does depend on the teachers and also the kids that are in the class.  My kids have been in all of those situations.  DD2 had 2 teachers in grade 2 and it worked brilliantly.  Reality is that she actually had a lot more teachers than that because there was an art teacher, a music teacher, a PE teacher, a librarian etc.

The 1/2 (as a grade 1er) for DD2 was a complete mess.  Mainly because of the school structure (all composites with the stages) and the mix of kids (this year they were all straight classes!).  I actually moved schools in term 3 for these reasons and others.

This year DD2 and 3 were in the same class.  A 1/2/3 composite and next year it will be a 2/3/4 with the same kids (small school).  Not sure how this will go because of the widening gap between grade 2 and 4 but if the teacher is good, it will be fine.  New teacher, and I know nothing about her.  Plus I've been told they have some contingencies for the older kids.

So I'm not really helping you choose am I?




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