Saturday, October 29, 2016

Synchronized Teaching- The Loss of Uniqueness!

There used to be a time when a teacher would find his/her groove teaching, a style of teaching that produced results. Of course,as the years went by, that style, hopefully, would be refined, adjusted, tweaked.

But "individual teaching styles" seem to have gone by the wayside. Teaching has lost its spontaneity and  I am baffled. 

A friend of mine shared that if someone walked in to observe the classes on his grade level, each of them should be teaching the exact same thing at the same time. I cracked up, laughing at his attempt at humor.
He said somberly, "There is a binder." 

PLC's, formative assessments, pacing guides, and scripted curriculum have made synchronized teaching a thing.
Unfortunately, as is so often  done in the field of education, we have taken concepts that are meant for good, and turned them into...if I say evil, am I going too far?

PLC's should be shared ideas, strategies, and yes, even data.
Formative assessments shouldn't be group planned. "Hold your teammates accountable if their data is not ready when it should be."
"What if my kids are not ready?"
Pacing guides should be just what they say they are, guides. Guides that allow for flexibility, depending on the child who is sitting in your classroom.

Scripted curriculum should not be followed blindly. That's not teaching.
Teachers who strayed from the script were not teaching with "fidelity."

If teachers on a grade level, or even throughout the school, are all doing the same thing, where does spontaneity come in? 
Can you get off track? 
Can you engage in conversations that weren't planned? 
Are you able to give your class the chance to do what other classes aren't?


We each move to the beat of the kids in our classroom.

Our kids learn differently.

Teachers teach differently.

Synchronized teaching.

Stepford teachers?


  1. I've followed your blog for a while and this is a topic I'm really passionate about myself. If we look at real learning and even brain research, everything points to the need for relationship in the learning process. People learn when they feel they are cared about. In a script, that disappears. I have seen teacher feverishly try to stay in step with the team and the anxiety gets pushed onto the kids. Everything I've ever studied shows that if you increase anxiety, you lower the likelihood that a kid will learn. I also have seen teachers be penalized for slowing down (necessarily) in order to make sure that their students truly mastered the learning and that it wasn't just "covered." I don't know what to do about it, but I think enough people are noticing the problem that voices are starting to be heard. At least I hope anyway...

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Bret! I hope for our kids' sake that they are listening... Keep reading!:)