At this point in my series of ‘Friday Facts’ I would like to draw your attention to how the beginning of a typical school year begins in a single age classroom setting. We typically embrace these operations as the most beneficial way to guarantee success and happy students. Upon further study and looking at the research and findings, these same concepts incorporated into a multiage setting would produce extraordinarily better results.
In a SINGLE AGE classroom:
- Meeting a new teacher each year is accepted as exciting.
- The prospect of meeting a new teacher and entering a new class is exciting for some students but creates a certain amount of anxiety for others.
- All students must adapt to a new approach from the teacher, new textbooks, new classroom rules, and new expectations for a period of time. Again, some students embrace the challenge while others take a step back with varying degrees of acceptance and success.
- At the beginning of each new year, we always note that the material is easy simply because the textbooks are designed with a review from the previous year’s content. As the year progresses the challenges begin to mount. Student success varies when assessing mastery of content.
Now let’s begin a new school year in a MULTIAGE classroom:
- You will have the same teacher for two years.
The same excitement and anticipation is exhibited in our students at the beginning of every year. The students that are anxious about going back to school, are put at ease in having a familiar face and surroundings, even a familiar path to the class. The biggest advantage for these students is that they have developed a relationship with the teacher that lessens the stress almost immediately. Granted, every two years a new classroom and teacher is required.
- Students returning to the same classroom and teacher have a background as to what is expected from their teacher allowing for a routine to be established sooner. Thus, the first days of school are educationally productive and calmer. Classroom rules and expectations are in place and exercised in review.
- Data shows that approximately 30% of the material presented in textbooks at the beginning of the school year is material taken from the previous year. In a multiage classroom the teacher designs all material to be presented in a two year cycle. One of the biggest assets in a multiage setting is that the teacher knows where each student is academically, socially, and emotionally ON THE FIRST DAYOF SCHOOL. A complete review may not be necessary simply because the teacher has the luxury of knowing the class make up and may be allowed to move forward with new material.
In conclusion, in studying the multiage classroom I find the topic I’ve outlined above as one of the most exciting and advantageous benefits we can offer our students. I’ve also stated in previous emails that our teachers represent some of the best educators in our Diocese, state and nationally for that matter. As evidenced in their presentations in the first full week of our E – Learning format, there is absolutely no question that the dedication, creativity, care, love and devotion, and knowledge of subject matter our teachers display daily for St. Edward students and families is a testament to maintaining the best educational and spiritual setting for all students and families.
Take care, stay safe, healthy and God Bless your entire family.