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The One-Teacher, One-Classroom Model Needs an Upgrade. Here’s What’s Next.

Emerging school models are supposed to ease the transition to personalized and blended instruction—or at least make it possible. But new ways of teaching like station rotation and fluid-schedule flex models can hit a snag when they run up against the familiar one-teacher-one-classroom setup. According to the authors of a new report, it’s not schools that need a “rethink” as much as school staffing.

“The mental model of how schools are organized is very strong, especially when it comes to staffing,” says Bryan Hassel, the co-president of Public Impact, which authored the report along with the Clayton Christensen Institute. “So changing that requires some effort.”

For the report, called “Innovative Staffing to Personalize Learning,” the two organizations scoured their personal networks and lists of high-performing schools to find ones that took a different approach to classroom organization, eventually finding eight schools and school networks with instructive lessons to share.

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