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The Singular, Unique Challenge of Group Teaching

by Katie Condon Condon.Katie@MacPhail.org

Many years ago, on my first day teaching general music, I told a group of kindergarteners to raise their hands if they had something to say. Immediately, a hand shot up and a little girl said, “I have a brother”.  Hand after hand went up, each child wanting to volunteer information about their brother, their birthday, their pet’s birthday, and so on. It took us a good ten minutes to get to the task at hand: making music.
It was at this moment that I realized that group teaching was completely different than teaching one-on-one. And pretty much every day I’ve spent in the classroom since then has reinforced this view.

In the kindergarten classroom, I set myself up for what happened by the way I used language. I’ve since learned there are many other ways-more effective ways-to establish procedures and get right to business. Since that fateful day, I’ve spent many hours reflecting on the differences between group and individual teaching. I’d be very curious to hear others’ experience. What is the toughest part of group teaching for you? What accommodations have you made to your content, delivery, and overall to teaching.

Comments, please!



                   By Marlith (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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