New studies show that a teacher educating the same group of students in multiple subjects over multiple years (teacher looping) has lasting benefits.
Students who stay with the same teacher for multiple school years both academic improvements. They also have reductions in absences and behavioral issues.
Teaching a child for multiple years allows teachers to better understand each student’s learning style, to work with families to help support students, and to challenge them to do their best work.
Because of the clear benefits to teacher looping, Summerfield Waldorf School teachers stay with their class from first through eight grade, building a safe and supportive learning environment and strong relationships.
Teacher looping helps each student to unfold their unique potential.
The KQED MindShift article, How Teacher Looping Can Ease the Learning Disruptions Caused by Coronavirus, by Kara Newhouse states:
“Having students for a second year enables teachers to understand children better and improve their practice as educators. [In times of upheaval], the prospect of returning to familiar faces may be more appealing than ever.”
Schools that implement looping are providing a strong sense of cohesiveness and familiarity for their students. This is beneficial for students in the early years all the way to high school.
Looping “provides coherence that enables teachers and students to dive deeper into both academic and social-emotional learning” Newhouse states.
Summerfield teachers know every student well, they know their family, they know the way the student learns best, the ways they need to be taught, and the ways they need to be challenged.
When looping occurs, the teacher can retain this information and connection for years to come. This is more beneficial than needing to start over each new school year.
Jeff Gilbert, principal of Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California, is a proponent of looping. In discussing the relationship the teacher makes with each student, he states,
“The teachers are a liaison to the family, they are an emotional support for the student, they are creating a community that lasts over time, and then they start to see the benefits of the students seeing the teachers as a community they can rely on.”
Looping is not a new concept for Summerfield, in fact is a core principle of Waldorf Pedagogy. It’s proven to be one of the most effective ways to teach, and nurture a community on which students can rely.
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