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<< Often the "exploratory" team has a group of students while the "real"
teachers have common planning time >>
The above comment in a post on the Middle School Concept is often, I am
afraid, the reality of what occurs when the team concept is introduced. I was
an early advocate of the Middle School concept, but have become increasingly
skeptical as I work in the actual environment. What I have experienced has
been an increasing division between the "academic" teams and the
"exploratory", "non-core", "encore" or "special" areas. I have fewer
opportunities to integrate now than I did in the pre team era. For a variety
of scheduling reasons, I see students for less time per year now than I did
then. I would love to hear of examples of schools where the art teacher is a
full member of a grade level team. We non-core teachers have formed our own
team out of desperation. Don't get me wrong -- there are some very big pluses
to the MS concept -- the grade level teams have a nice block of time to work
with and common planning time (while we have their classes). The
Advisor-Advisee program in our school is probably the most positive aspect
for both students and teachers.