When two of you are accountable for teaching a class, how do you make sure it runs smoothly?
Teachers have many different ways of working and there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to techniques and expectations. Some teachers like to organise all of their lessons ahead of term while others prefer to plan them the weekend before, some love a neatly organised classroom while others don’t mind a few pencils out of place. Job sharing as a teacher can work really well. What’s essential is that you and your job share partner create a routine that balances both of your ideals and expectations.
1. Plan your topics ahead of time
First, it’s a great idea to get together with the teacher you are job sharing with and decide which topics you would like to teach at the start of each half term. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Give yourself time to plan, share and discuss.
2. Play to your strengths
Make sure you and your job share partner talk about which topics you prefer to teach. What are your strongest subjects? Are there any obvious ways to divide the workload? For example, a teacher at one Cornerstones school wasn’t strong at music, but her job share partner was and loved teaching it, so she always took charge of those lessons.
3. Make sure your workload is fair
One way to make sure your workload is fair is to take turns and swap between core and foundation planning. Alternatively, you could take a core subject for the whole year, then split the foundation subjects on a weekly basis.
Many teachers who job share also focus on teaching a particular sequence of foundation lessons. It’s important that you are both flexible, so you get a system that works really well for you and your job share partner.
4. Discuss how you will deliver objectives
Even though the lessons and planning will be divided between you and your partner, it’s really important to discuss how you will deliver objectives and how and when you will assess your children. You’ll be able to bounce ideas back and forth to ensure you’re delivering exciting and engaging lessons.
5. Ensure a smooth handover
Getting to know how your partner works and agreeing deadlines in advance will make the whole process easier to manage. If you’re not able to speak to your partner in person, you could leave notes for each other in your planning documents or email specific comments to each other that you feel are important. Google docs is a great collaboration tool.
Extra tips for Cornerstones teachers
The Cornerstones Curriculum is great for job-sharers. The curriculum overview maps are ideal for helping you choose which topics and subjects you’d like to teach. You can download a map for each year group on The Hub – our online portal for Cornerstones schools.
Once you’ve chosen an ILP, read it through and decide which activities you’d like to teach from each stage. The copy and paste planning templates are a really useful tool to use for this and are also available on The Hub.
It’s also worth remembering that you don’t need to teach every lesson from each stage, and feel free to vary the order that you teach them in.
Do you teach as a job share? What are your strategies? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter, where we are @cornerstonesedu.