Eye on Innovation: C.P. Russell Elementary

Rhenett Simpson and Pamela Williams-Gray at Clinton P. Russell Elementary in South Oak Cliff have taken what could be viewed as an inconvenience and turned it to their advantage.  Their identical class schedules results in overlapping and conflicting blocks of available time in their school’s science lab.

The two teachers opted to combine classes when they go to the science lab instead, and in the process have developed a solid co-teaching relationship.  Though Simpson is the more veteran science teacher, both teachers share equally during lab time, consistently circling the large lab room to check on lab groups.  One teacher may be addressing the class as a whole, while the other is modeling taking notes on the board or conferring quietly with an individual lab group.

The net result is a truly collaborative partnership in which both teachers benefit.  Their administrator has asked many times whether they wouldn’t prefer working in the lab individually, but these teachers consistently request to keep their co-teaching model intact.  They wouldn’t want it any other way.


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