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Married ... with students

September 03, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

When a student needs help while Ginger Scally is teaching her sixth-grade social studies class at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, she does not have to stop to provide assistance: Her husband, Dan, takes care of the problem.

Ginger Scally, 43, and Dan Scally, 50, of Hagerstown, team up to teach sixth-grade social studies in the same classroom.

With an average class size of 45 students, they have more students than most teachers but they also have two teachers while most classes have one.

They have been married for 19 years, Dan Scally said, but this is the first year the two have taught together.

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Ginger Scally traditionally taught sixth-graders and Dan Scally normally taught seventh-graders.

So far, sharing a classroom is working out, Dan Scally said.

"Ginger does not have to stop teaching when there is a problem because I am right there when the problem occurs," Dan Scally said.

It also helps that the two know, like and trust each other, Ginger Scally said.

The school has a growing enrollment but a limited number of classrooms, Principal Roger Stenersen said. The couple offered to try teaching together as a way to address the problem of having more teachers than classrooms this year, he said.

During one class Wednesday, Ginger Scally stood in the front of the room lecturing the students on geography, while Dan Scally walked among the students, checking on their work and progress.

Later, he gave a student individual help while his wife continued lecturing.

The students have been wonderful about adjusting to having two people teach a class, Ginger Scally said.

Two students in the class said they like having two teachers instead of one.

Whenever there is a problem, Dan Scally addresses it, Ryan Stewart, 11, said.

"It helps us more," said Darius Behpouri, 11. "I like it."

Dan Scally said he and his wife have not yet found a downside to working together.

Stenersen praised their work and cooperative efforts.

"They can focus on a couple dimensions at the same time," he said.

The Scallys said they would teach together again if given the chance and Stenersen said he would support that.

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