By Teachers, For Teachers
Teachers often have a student for just one year, and the way that year operates is based on a series of assumptions.
Teachers assume that any given student enters their class with a certain set of skills learned the previous year. Teachers also assume that the skills they teach their students will set up those students for what they will need to enter the next year.
But how accurate are these assumptions?
If teachers do not truly know what skills their students received the previous year or will need the subsequent year, then they have very little information about what they ought to be focusing on this current year. Their class exists in an educational vacuum.
The way to solve this dilemma is through vertical teaming: the Open and consistent communication with teachers of surrounding grades to ensure that students are receiving a step-by-step, year-by-year, scaffolded curriculum. This means that a third grade teacher is talking to the second and fourth grade teachers, and a sophomore teacher is talking to the freshmen and junior teachers of the same subject. Vertical teaming can also extend much further, from elementary to middle through high school curriculums.
Here are the best ways to take advantage of vertical team work:
What ends up happening is that the skills a teacher targets become much more concrete. Instead of feeling like they have to “do it all,” they can trust that their colleagues will get students to a certain point of achievement, and then trust again that once students move on their learning will continue.
And the payoff is even larger for students. As the skills they master one year serve as the foundation for acquiring more skills the next, this only further solidifies those skills and ensures that they are truly mastering material rather than learning meaningless details in isolation.
It’s called a vertical “team,” which means, just like its name implies, it’s a team. When teachers come together to maximize student success, they work towards the same goal and collaborate to ensure seamless transitions for students from year to year.