Last week, my Selangau education district office organised a three-days-two-nights camp for POLUS (Potential Pass) students. The camp is named Kem Ku Gapai Cita 2.0 (Reaching Out for the Dream Camp 2.0).
The objective is to provide the students with the necessary language skills and knowledge sufficient for them to pass the upcoming UPSR examinations. We aim to help them identify the aspect of language they need to focus on which potentially can help them to pass the examinations.
I have called upon two of my close colleagues, Mr Mazlan Rostani of SK Batu 36 and Mr Carl Davies Jingkan of SK Sungai Buloh to assist in teaching this group of students. The total participants for this camp are 69 (it was supposed to be 70, but one school opted out). They have been divided into 4 groups, each with 17 or 18 participants.
We used a collaborative tool not many have tried before, that is team teaching. It is also called collaborative teaching. It is a coordinated teaching by a team of teachers working together. Wow! The outcome of each lesson was great and I’m going to tell you why.
1. Strengths over weaknesses
Every teacher has their strengths and weaknesses in the process of teaching and learning. But, when it comes to team teaching, you work as a team player. You fill in the gap left by another teacher, and they did the same to you too. Basically, in a team, you complete each other!
2. Models the best teaching practice
Sometimes, when you do team teaching, you will be there watching how your colleague teaches. This is the best time to learn from them – the way they give instructions, the way they engage the students, the way they ask questions, etc. Then, you can apply them into your own teaching practices.
3. Motivates each other
Especially when you have a camp packed with heavy schedule and over a long period of time, you will be dead-tired if you were to do it alone. So, if you can find your colleagues who can think alike and have the same work ethic as you, you can invite them on board to share this burden with them. There, you guys can motivate each other and keep each other motivated throughout the session.
4. Helps student retain knowledge better
When you have the same teacher talking for 3 hours, you can be sure the students’ mind will be turned off after some time. But, if you and your colleagues can work together to team teach, your students will pay better attention because every teacher brings in new perspectives and new methods of learning. This thus helps them retain information better.
5. More learning needs are catered
When you have more teachers in the class facilitating student learning, you can be sure students’ learning needs are better catered for. This is because you have more teachers walking around the classroom giving guidance and paying attention to every student as compared to just one teacher in the class.
So, there you go, team teaching can be the strategy teachers in school would want to give a try to. Although it has not been an official collaborative tool for Professional Learning Community (PLC) in Malaysia, teachers in schools can simply see its effectiveness in student learning and apply it into their classroom teaching and learning.
Once again, hats off to Mr Mazlan and Mr Carl for their willingness to assist us to bring about a new change in the lives of our children. Thank you for making our camp a success!