Based on early experience and data, we recommend using Specialization in combination with Multi-Classroom Leadership.
Remote role specialization is the same as in-person, except that the excellent remote teachers collaborate with in-person staff (or other remote instructors). An in-person adult is responsible for all activities unrelated to instruction and for monitoring student time and behavior.
Role specialization happens in the context of other models, most easily under Multi-Classroom Leadership (there is no single career path for a “role specialist”). The goal is to focus excellent teachers’ time on the instructional roles that are most challenging and critical for success, and on high-value noninstructional work related to student outcomes. In addition, focusing excellent teachers’ time on the instructional roles in which each excels may magnify their effectiveness. All of these role changes require that other staff members or technological tools perform the instructional and noninstructional roles that excellent teachers no longer play. If enough excellent teacher time is saved, then these teachers can teach more students. Role specialization is already incorporated into other reach models (with both in-person and remotely located teachers), including Multi-Classroom Leadership, Time-Technology Swaps, and Subject Specialization. In these models, different teacher and paraprofessional team members play differing roles—not just teaching different subjects—to produce the best outcomes for the most students. Reach Effects: will vary widely. Examples include:
- Excellent teachers use their time exclusively for academic instruction and planning. This is enabled by having other team members cover noninstructional duties that do not affect student learning, and by using time-saving technology.
- Excellent teachers focus on the most critical, challenging instructional roles in which each excels. Other team members perform remaining instructional duties. Instructional roles include (among others): planning instruction, lecturing, motivating, monitoring student progress, reviewing student work, providing feedback, diagnosing next-step student needs, monitoring students’ independent work, leading individual and small-group instruction, grading, providing instructional administrative work, addressing social/emotional/ behavioral learning barriers, and communicating with parents.
Picture the possibilities for remotely located teachers
If you find this sort of teaching hard to envision, Grand Rapids, MI, physics teacher Andrew Vanden Heuvel has an exciting video to show you how it’s happening now—through his virtual field trip to Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider as the first person to teach a science class from insider the collider’s tunnel (and one of the first to bike through it!). As Andrew says on his blog about the trip, “It’s not about the technology, but what you can do with it.”
View table with links to all school models