One teacher is taking the growing teacher looping method to new levels by sticking with his students K-12.
Texas teacher, Mark Rogers, has taught kindergarten all the way up to high school students. After working as an administrator for a charter school he recognized the benefits of teacher looping. Once his students finished high school he started over and began with a new class in kindergarten in the hopes that he would help them learn throughout their entire elementary and secondary school education.
Mr. Rogers has embarked on a long-term teacher looping journey that spans 13 years. His experience helping his high school class pass eighth grade up through high school graduation gave him the ability to properly guide students through various stages to offer better comfort levels and success rates. Once they graduated he decided to start over from the very beginning.
Teacher looping has been growing in popularity during the past few years. It is a process where a teacher takes on a class of students, then moves up with them through various grade levels each year. Most teachers only do this for three or four years at most. This can help classes succeed on a quicker timeline, give teachers the insight they need to help students with their individualized needs, and create a stronger classroom culture.
It has now been five years, and his students are entering the fourth grade. The results of this extended teacher looping are astounding. All of his students are at least achieving academic progress in the top 40%, and the average student success rate is within the 25th percentile.
Teacher looping also helped keep Mr. Rogers’ class on track during the pandemic. Although there were disruptions, and unprecedented challenges, by having the same trusted teacher students were better able to cope with all of the changes and hardships. This has led eight of his students to reach the top 90th percentile.
While teachers who consider looping often express concerns about learning new material each year, Rogers points out that with the proper administrative support, teachers can and will successfully move on to more challenging lessons with their students. The data is proving that teacher looping increases success rates. It not only improves academic and classroom behavior but also attendance.
Teacher looping has been linked to higher test scores, but it can offer some disadvantages at times. If students and teachers do not get along, other classroom conflicts persist, or students become too attached, this method may lead to ongoing issues that actually hinder the learning process. Thankfully this can be mitigated on a case-by-case basis.
Although many schools have yet to consider teacher looping, it has been utilized in some schools since the 1990s. This has provided plenty of evidence of how this method affects educators and students. Mark Rogers experienced this and decided to start with a kindergarten class and teach them all the way through their high school graduation. His students are already displaying various benefits. From attendance to academic achievement, and better behavior at school, teacher looping has given this Texas educator a different perspective on the learning process and helped him to take on a long-term role.