The Romanian educational system seems to have many chronic problems which, it appears, are not to be solved in the near future by the people with the power to decide. Regardless of the fact that we have had so many Ministries of Education in the last decade(s), the important issues in education seem to remain unaddressed. The teachers have no alternative but to take attitude in their own classroom and to decide the changes to be made in their teaching methods in order to make the learning of the new knowledge easier for the specific groups of students they are teaching. This is the so called “bottom-up reform”, where every teacher makes the change he/she wants to see in education, in their own teaching environment. It is, apparently, the only way to reform the education system in a meaningful and realistic way.
While in Romania the stress is on the delivery of as much scientific content as possible, in other countries, the stress has been placed on the state of happiness of the students and of the teachers. Why this shift in perspective, when it comes to education? Because unhappy students will not perform at their best and unhappy teachers will not do their best in teaching.
Another fact that might explain this concern on the students’ state of happiness is the increasing suicide rate among teenagers and the state of depression the teachers tend to fall into, especially after the Covid19 pandemic and all the sudden changes and the increasing number of responsibilities the teachers had to assume.
We need a new policy to be implemented in schools – the policy of well-being, of kindness, of empathy. The level of stress when it comes to students and teachers is already too high, the amount of paperwork and tests is already overwhelming, despite the pretended “digitalisation” of the world. This new strategy in education should begin with the teachers and making their jobs easier. There are many teachers who want to improve their methods of teaching and maybe they do not know where to begin. Team teaching could be a start.
What are the benefits of team teaching? First of all, making a common strategy for teaching initiates a beneficial professional communication between two specialists who will certainly learn from one another. There are many teachers undergoing professional training sessions, but they do not know exactly how to apply the recently acquired knowledge into practice. A discussion with a peer might help.
Secondly, team teaching can also be beneficial for the students: seeing different teaching styles during the same lesson could help them understand the topic better. Last but not least, sharing the responsibility of teaching and dividing the work could also help the teacher understand better the morphology of lesson stages, how to use different techniques when teaching and which are the most important parts in teaching to a specific group of pupils.
The disadvantage of team teaching is the fact that it is not very used in schools and it is difficult to organise, in these circumstances. Difficult, but not impossible, nonetheless. But if it has good results with the students, I believe it is an effort worth making, as a teacher.
The public reforms in education seem to have poor results, so maybe it would be a good idea to give more independence to the teachers and offer them the liberty to use and experiment strategies that work better for the students. Such experiments have already proven to be efficient in the special needs students education, so we might say that the necessary trial stage has already been made.