PAIR teaching or team teaching for critical subjects should be encouraged in primary and even secondary schools.
If we have enough teachers in schools, two teachers should go to a class and teach the class.
Pair teaching or team teaching involves a group of instructors working together purposefully, regularly and cooperatively to teach a group of children in a classroom.
The teachers together can set the course goals and content, design scheme of work and lesson plan, select common materials such as texts and films, and develop tests and evaluate final examinations for the children.
Young and new teachers from teacher training institutes can be paired with senior teachers in schools.
Both teachers can learn and interact with one another for the mutual benefit of the children in the class.
Having two teachers in class would be an effective teaching and learning technique that has to be considered by the education authorities.
Two teachers would be better equipped to handle classes that have more than 25 children.
The two teachers can deal effectively with children who are of different levels of competency.
The pair teaching approach allows for more interaction between the teachers and their charges.
The “no one child should be left out”, as encapsulated in the national education blueprint, can be realised through the pair teaching approach.
Discipline problems can be greatly reduced with the two teachers in the classroom.
Children would not be able to be idle or play around in the classroom with two teacher to check on them.
The two teachers can share the teaching responsibilities and reduce the workload.
Critical subjects like English language, Science and Mathematics can be considered for pair teaching.
For a start, we can begin with big schools that have a few classes for each standard.
Teaching periods can be scheduled side by side or simultaneously for pair teaching.
Teachers can address different study skills and learning techniques.
Pair teaching may not be the answer to all problems plaguing teachers but breaking out of the taken-for-granted single-subject and single-teacher pattern could encourage innovation and transformation in the classroom.
Pair teaching requires planning, skilled management, open mindedness, creativity, humility and willingness to risk change and even failure.
Teacher strengths are combined and teacher weaknesses are remedied through pair teaching.
Teachers complement one another.
The teachers learn new perspectives and insights, techniques and values from watching one another.
The pair teaching resolves the teaching burden to an extent and boosts morale.
The presence of another teacher reduces children-teacher personality problems.
In an emergency, one team member can attend to the problem while the class goes on.
However, pair or team teaching can make more demands on the teachers’ time and energy.
Teachers must arrange mutually agreeable times for planning and evaluation.
Discussions can be draining and group decisions may take longer.
Some teachers may simply dislike the other teachers on the team and working together with them.
Pair teaching is an innovative and challenging technique that needs to be considered seriously in our education system for effective teaching and learning outcomes in the classroom.
Samuel Yesuiah Seremban The STAR Home News Opinion Letters August 30, 2015