Starting in first grade, students have more than one teacher in low-performing elementary schools in Maryland’s Howard County, reports Fawn Johnson in National Journal. One teacher specializes in math and science, another in reading, spelling and social studies.
“Departmentalization” — also known as “platooning” — gives teachers more time for lesson planning, says Superintendent Renee Foose. “You ask teachers what they want, and they always ask for more time,” she says.
Specializing reduces teachers’ stress, according to a Valdosta State study. It’s not clear that it improves student achievement.
I think hiring math-science specialists, at least by third grade, could strengthen teaching in elementary schools. And maybe it could draw more male teachers.