The Herbert Vissers College has started team teaching, whereby two teachers give lessons to two classes at the same time. In this video, both teachers and students relate some of the benefits of doing so. “Teachers give so much more of themselves,” enthuses student Dario.
In the Herbert Vissers College a special area, dubbed the “workroom” has been configured for team teaching. In it, lessons are jointly started up and concluded. A short instruction is given at the beginning, after which the students disperse and work on their assignments, which are tailored to suit the various corners of the workroom. The workroom is equipped with:
- high tables, to promote and facilitate independent working;
- a low table with upholstered chairs, for meetings;
- an area with low tables with pivoted stools that promote active working.
Students can be supported either in groups or individually. During the lesson, the two teachers coordinate how they will work together and exploit one another’s abilities. “For students, team teaching is more challenging than traditional frontal teaching,” explains teacher Romano de Bock. “They are given more opportunity to be active, to deepen and enrich the learning experience, to be more challenged and to just learn more. If you give students a lot more to do themselves, you’ll notice that they become more motivated to take ownership of things.”
Above all, students really appreciate the personal contact, insists Iris. “Teachers in the workroom are so much more amenable. And there are more opportunities for spontaneous discussions about completely different topics.”
Teachers have certainly noticed that it works, while students, literally, appreciate the extra space. A working climate is unmistakeable, with students actively and regularly consulting with one another. The noise enveloping the students took some time to get used to in the beginning, but the overview afforded by the open space makes it easier to control, claim the teachers.
Lesson materials are laid out on an open learning platform before the start of the lesson. This makes it immediately clear for the students where they can find their instructions and assignments and it increases their opportunities for self-management. In Herbert Vissers College use is made of digital video tools, Flipping the Classroom and Screencast-O-Matics. Instructions given by the teacher are therefore incorporated into the lesson materials, giving the teacher more time to support the students.