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, tap here, tap there, and all is good.

But "individual teaching styles" seem to have gone by the wayside. Teaching has lost its spontaneity and  I am baffled. If this teacher, and that teacher, and the other teacher, are moving in step, why not hire a robot?

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 started cracking up.
He said somberly, "There is a binder." Chills.

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

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

Scripted curriculum should not be followed blindly. That's just some lazy, or mandatory, teaching.
I know of a few teachers who did not get stellar observations because they strayed from the script.They 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?


There is just so much wrong with "synchronized teaching!"

We are not synchronized, we each move to the beat of the kids in our classroom.

Our kids learn differently.

Teachers teach differently.

Synchronized teaching.

Stepford teachers anyone?


  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!:)