Managing: How to handle multiple classes in one room

Working in low-resource contexts where multiple classes are taught in a single room and sometimes by one teacher, teachers research and share how to maximise learning and maintain discipline.

In this video, Joya Senchowa and Babita Hapila from India talk about the challenges of multi-class teaching, i.e. where more than one grade or age group are taught in one room with no partitions.

In Joya’s school, children from nursery age to Grade 5 are all taught in one hall and when the other teachers are absent, Joya handles all the groups alone! How can teachers manage learning and behaviour in such low-resource contexts? As Babita explains, there are times when different classes can come together, for example during warm-up activities. At other times, each class can be given a different task to work on, e.g. while one class is busy working on writing, the teacher can focus on the presentation of language with another class.

One resource these schools are not short of is students, and Babita suggests a number of ways in which higher-level students can be helpful in monitoring, assisting and even teaching!

Reflection and discussion

One of the purposes of these resources is to help you with your own teacher development in related contexts. The questions in task 1 and task 2 are designed for you to think about and discuss with colleagues, either informally or as part of your formal professional development.

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