A glimpse to multigrade teaching
You could never tell how difficult it is to be in a situation unless you have been through it.
I thought it was not a big deal but when I was assigned for the first time to handle a multigrade class, I realized that it was complicated. I did not know what to do. I did not have any training regarding multigrade teaching.
Multigrade class consists of two or more different grade levels in a single grade classroom manned by one teacher for an entire school year. It is usually practiced in remote locations to address issues of accessibility and teacher availability.
Several studies were conducted to determine the effect of multigrade class on the academic achievements of students however the studies yielded conflicting results. Some studies prove that there were no consistent differences in student achievement between multigrade and single-grade classes. Others showed negative effects on the achievement of the learners. Truly, it is difficult to assess the achievement of learners whether they are in multigrade or single-grade class because it still depends on other factors such as the learners’ intellectual abilities.
The result of studies may vary but some factors about multigrade class is enough to speak on its impact on the learning outcomes. Multigrade class is characterized by less instruction time per grade level. The allotted time per subject is divided into the number of classes. In multigrade class, there is also less time to assist individual students and meet their needs.
The effects of multigrade class on teachers are very evident. It is more complex and difficult to teach a multigrade class. Teachers have greater workload. They are faced with delivering two or more different curricula to learners. They need more preparation time and better management skills.
Multigrade teachers need to prepare more or less 15 daily lesson logs. Several activities and instructional materials are needed to be prepared daily. Forms and other reports are accomplished by grade level. Programs of the department that have to be implemented also add to the work of the teachers. These activities require much time and effort.
Delivering several lessons in a day is challenging. Sometimes, mastering the subject matters to be taught for each grade level is nearly impossible.
Classroom management is also a great issue. A multigrade teacher must apply effective classroom management strategies so that teaching and learning process will take place smoothly. He/she must let his/her learners in one grade feel that he/she is closely supervising them while he/she teaches in the other grade.
Teaching is difficult but multigrade teaching is a struggle. One must be more dedicated, patient, resourceful and diligent in order to carry out the numerous tasks every single day.