What is looping?
Looping is when students stay with the same teacher for two to four years. For example, students start 1st grade with Mrs. G. When the students move on to 2nd grade Mrs. G. goes with them. This continues on for up to four years. The foundation of this concept is to give the teacher and student more time together to foster that interpersonal relationship. The teacher is able to really zone in on what the needs of the student are and how to better help them with their education.
What are the pros of looping?
- Statistics show that there were fewer absences and less disciplinary action necessary when students had been in the looping process.
- Students have less anxiety in a new school year because they are familiar with the teacher, the teacher’s expectations and the other students in the class. This takes the fear out of the first day of school.
- Learning can be more personalized because the teacher has has more time to get familiar with the student and to work with them.
- The individuals in each class tend to get more support.
- There is a great continuity from one year to the next or subject to subject because the student and teacher are familiar with each the pattern and learning styles.
- Gives the student a chance to have stronger relationships with the teacher as well as other students.
- Studies show that students are more willing to take risks and “think outside the box” when they have done looping.
- Less review at the beginning of the year which means about one more month of actual instruction in new material.
- Teachers know better how to design the following year’s curriculum based on their knowledge of the student, their needs and their learning styles.
- Special needs students get more time with the teacher.
Cons of looping:
- There could be a bad match between student and teacher.
- New students may have a hard time feeling like they “fit in”.
- Students may get too familiar with each other and that could inhibit the learning process.