Whole Group Teaching

I rarely teach whole group. It is a mess and they don’t pay attention to me anyway. They pretend to. But I know their mind is elsewhere.

My biggest pet peeve is while I am teaching whole group, the kids won’t stay in their seat. They will walk up to grab the bathroom pass to go to the bathroom. They know they can’t do this. Somehow, they think I will suddenly let them though. Sometimes they claim it is an emergency and so I let them go. Then, they have to go again 15 minutes later and it’s another emergency. -.-

They also will walk up to me to ask a question. All the time. Why won’t they raise their hand? Who knows? I send them back to their seat and make them raise their hand. The question is NEVER related to what I am teaching. At all. But is is so urgent that they need to ask me right then and there.

This is why I won’t teach whole group. For my sanity.


8 thoughts on “Whole Group Teaching”

  1. I have done my share of subbing at the elementary level. The constant need for trips to the bathroom and the nurse used to drive me nuts. Also, getting up to use the pencil sharpener when you are leading a lesson. Nuts! Behavior issues are a big reason why I don’t sub anymore. I do lead both a small (six students) and large group (30 students). Surprisingly (and thankfully), I do not have this problem with these groups.


  2. Bathroom emergencies… I was in a room for an hour while the teacher was out in a conference . Two boys declared they couldn’t hold it…repeatedly. I held on and said no …repeatedly. When the teacher came back in, it was time for recess. Miraculously, they didn’t need to go anymore.


  3. I also dislike whole class teaching. I teach college, so I don’t have the challenges you have exactly–but I agree that there is a lack of engagement when I’m addressing the whole class. Suddenly the phones and laptops are out, and I’m pretty they’re not taking notes!


  4. There are many who argue that whole group is not as conducive to good learning as small group or one-on-one. I think whole group is for community building, seeing how our actions affect other. I re-teach how the routines of whole group all year along – even my preschoolers are expected to sit for these brief sessions, for the good of community. It’s not always perfect!


  5. I have reverted to a fidget toy when they come to whole group! They grab one of their fidget toys from their pencil bag(a boink, a popper, bendy man…or other fidget toys that fit in their pencil bag) and use it waist high while they are sitting. They must try not to drop it or make noise with it. They really do a better job in whole group when they have one of these! You could ask parents to donate 25 of the same fidget toy for your classroom then you will have one for each student. If a parent donates a fidget toy that makes noise then they save it for their end of the day FREE time. I don’t mind if they use it then!


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