A team is a group of teachers (math, English, social studies and science) that will work with a small group of students. Teachers will have common planning times and common homerooms. Each grade level has a set of teams. Grade 6 has four teams, grade 7 has three teams and grade 8 has two teams.
Research shows that teaming is fundamental to middle school
education. Using the team approach, students can expect academic
excellence as well as support for their emotional and social
needs, which are equally important. The team
structure allows teachers to get to know their small group of students better, offer more opportunities to collaborate within disciplines, have common time to streamline communications to students and parents, and foster stronger
relationships with students.
Over the course of last school year, a committee of 23
members that included administrators, middle and high school
teachers, parents and a teaming consultant worked together to
create a plan for bringing teaming back to O’Rourke Middle
School. Budget cuts in past years resulted in the reduction of
staff, which eventually diminished the teaming structure.
Thankfully, with the support of the superintendent and Board of
Education, teaming became a priority
once again. We are excited to implement teaming this school year.
Students will generally work with teachers within their own
team for math, English, science and social studies. They will
work with other teachers in such subjects as World Language,
art, music, health, and physical education. Teaming
will allow content area teachers to perform interdisciplinary work and have more time to work with the kids who need extra help.
We will be assessing the strengths and challenges of teaming
over the course of the 2015-16 school year. The Building Council
(with PTA representation) and the middle school faculty will
also track strategies that are working well and in
addition, look for ways to improves the process, if necessary. We will also be soliciting the thoughts and ideas of our students. Their input in invaluable in helping us ensure our teaming approach is a success.
Generally speaking, the homeroom teacher assigned to your
child will indicate what team he or she is on. Parents will be
able to cross check their child’s homeroom teacher with the list
on the web site. Please know that first period is
homeroom for almost all students. We’ve found that this will help with the morning transitions and get student settled quicker. However, grade 7 students who have world language first period will learn their team assignment on the first
day of school.