Greetings! What a fantastic time we had when First Lady and Governor Deal visited Mary Lin on Friday! The First Lady read to Mrs. Green's first grade class and Governor Deal spoke with our fourth grade boys and girls. Mr. Rice, one of our fourth grade teachers, did an outstanding job preparing the students for this visit. Georgia State donated 41 new books to our Media Center on behalf of First Lady Deal. Dr. Johnson, our Media Specialist also played an instrumental role in making Friday a great day!
Self-contained Organizational Structure
The purpose of this blog entry is to inform the Mary Lin community that our fourth and fifth grade classes will be organized in a self-contained organizational structure next year. Research on classes being self-contained (students having one teacher) versus classes being departmentalized (students having more than one teacher) dates back to the 1950's! That's right, this is not a novel debate and research indicates that both organizational structures work.
Digging deeper though, we are finding that a self-contained K-5 organizational structure would be more effective at Mary Lin for several reasons. The new Common Core Georgia Performance Standards require teachers to integrate subject matter. The integration of subjects (science and writing, reading and social studies...) can be done more successfully in a self-contained organizational structure.
The self-contained organizational structure also provides the students with an undisrupted routine and a more structured environment. Too, the self-contained organizational structure maximizes instructional time due to the fewer times students have to transition to different classrooms.
Developing the whole child is an important concept that the Mary Lin administration embraces. The self-contained organizational structure allows the teacher to form a strong bond with the students he or she teaches. This bond is the foundation on which the teacher can provide his or her students with the social and emotional needs they require, while stressing the importance of reaching their fullest academic potential.
The Mary Lin fourth and fifth grade teachers have different views on this debate. Some teachers like being departmentalized because they can become specialists in two-three subject areas. Some teachers like the self-contained organizational structure because it provides them with flexibility in scheduling their instructional day. In addition, the teachers would "really get to know" the students in a self-contained organizational structure.
We know that many parents and students like the departmentalized organizational structure. The students think it is neat to have multiple teachers and so do the parents. Ultimately, we are charged with making the best decision for the students. Change is not easy, however; we believe our teachers can make a smooth transition to the self-contained organizational structure with the support of the Mary Lin administration and the Mary Lin community. We look forward to seeing you at the next coffee, which will take place on Friday, April 5.
Thanks for all you do! Brian and Ashley