The Teaching Duo
By Kate Johnson
The high demand for teachers within this country is very real. New teachers heading into their teaching practicums are expected to start their real contracts once their six-week stint of student teaching is over. Retired teachers are coming back to fill positions that continue to lie unfilled. It seems as though classrooms are beginning to grow and the teaching numbers are starting to dwindle.
At Beulah Elementary School this is something they tried to avoid at all costs. Two recently retired teachers have entered back into the Beulah school system to give their classroom one last hurrah as a teaching team before another attempt at retirement.
Sherry Zacher has been a teacher for 32 years and has been teaching in Beulah for 28 of those years. Marilyn Greenshields has been teaching for 34 years, meanwhile being at Beulah Elementary for the last 20 years.
Zacher retired this past May with the end of school. Greenshields has been retired for the past year, but has been substitute teaching for the school within that year.
After retiring Zacher decided that she still wanted to be a part-time teacher. She approached Principal Skalsky, and also put forward Greenshields’ name in hopes to split teaching time with someone.
Through friends Greenshields had heard of the open position and received a call from Skalsky shortly after. Greenshields hopped on board in hopes of avoiding the issues behind the teacher shortage.
“The main thing is though, I didn’t want to see the class sizes get bigger because someone had to be pulled from another grade to fill this position,” said Greenshields.
The pair has decided to split everything down the middle; they are willing to work with each other as a unit, using an immense amount of communication. The duo will switch between one teaching three days of the week and the other teaching two days of the week, flip-flopping every other week. For example, if Zacher works three days of week one, Greenshields will work two days of that week. The following second week it will be reversed, with Greenshields working three days of the week and Zacher working two days.
The two teachers have also decided to split the curriculum, with Zacher teaching math, language, and science, and Greenshields teaching reading, spelling, and social studies. The teachers having their own subjects is designed to create less confusion for the students. The teachers will be responsible for their own subjects being taught when it come to lessons, homework, testing, and so on.