Co-Teaching: What You Need to Know

With co-teaching, at least two professional teachers work hand-in-hand in the classroom to deliver top-notch learning via allocating specific tasks to one another for either some or all the students in the class. Together, these teachers provide tutoring, evaluation, remediation, etc.

Co-teaching is frequently implemented with special and general education teachers paired together as part of an attempt to develop a more inclusive classroom. Having two teachers in a classroom opens up several opportunities for both students and the teachers. Some of these include:

·Students with disabilities can get access to the general education curriculum that incorporates the classroom activities and community in which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate.

·Increased possibilities for one-on-one interaction between teachers and students, resulting in stronger relationships.

·All learners can benefit from the diversity, additional resources, and supports available in the classroom.

·Students still can get specialized instruction when needed.

·Stronger, more inventive lessons as teachers take care of the planning process together.

·More independence for students with disabilities.

·Teachers can support each other by sharing the workload in the classroom, developing camaraderie, and complementing the strengths and weaknesses of each other.

Co-teaching can be implemented using different methods. Some of the fundamental models include:

Team teaching – Both teachers plan lessons and teach students together. Students see them as a single unit and get assistance and the opportunity to ask questions during a lesson.

One teaches, one assists, or observes – Here, one teacher instructs while the other observes the students to recognize issues and review their performance. The observing teacher can provide feedback on which activities and content are most beneficial for students, helping the co-teacher improve their practice continually and fulfill the individual requirements of every student in the classroom in the best possible manner.

Parallel teaching – In this model, the teachers split the class in half and instruct each group simultaneously with the same content. Here, the smaller groups are supervised closely, and increased opportunities for interaction between teachers and students become available.

Station teaching – Here, teachers become responsible for instructing different segments of the lesson plan. It helps them provide specialized support when teaching content in segments they might have more expertise in or if their teaching style better fits a specific part of a lesson.

Alternate teaching – In this method, one teacher manages a larger group, while the other handles a small group that needs additional supports and specialized attention.

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