Are You Co-Teaching? Offer Your Advice to a Rookie

By Christina A. Samuels — August 07, 2015 1 min read
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Earlier this week, “bedruzba” posted this message to a recent blog post I wrote on co-teaching:

I am about to enter my first year co-teaching in 6th grade. I myself bought Marilyn Friend's book about co-teaching to help get me started. I guess that is one of the challenges. Teacher training for co-teaching is limited because it is still a relatively newer way to teach. Some teachers are simply thrown into co-teaching with little guidance. Why? Because the administrators asking them to co-teach have not had the opportunity to do so themselves. Therefore, the special education teacher ends up being the helper. I am determined not to let this happen to me this year. Luckily I appear to have the chance to work with teachers that WANT to co-teach. This is important as well. It takes two to co-teach. It one teacher is reluctant to give up control and cooperate, it won't work. Any suggestions for me as I embark on this new venture? I want to have my students be independent learners yet I need to make sure that my specially designed instructions help them to be successful in the co-taught classroom.

I want bedruzba to get off to the best start possible, and there’s no better way to do that than to crowd-source answers from more experienced educators. First, let me share a few of Education Week’s recent articles on the topic:

Based on my interviews with teachers, I can tell you that co-planning time with your general education partner is extremely important, as is support from your school leader. But I’m not in the classroom every day, so there’s a lot that I don’t know. This is where I want to hear from you, the experts!

Leave a message in the comments, Tweet to @onspeced

(#coteachnewbie) or email me at csamuels@epe.org. I’ll take all suggestions, whether they are big (should you advocate for district or school-wide professional development?) or small (how should teachers’ names be listed on report cards?)

I’ll take a week to gather your comments and compile them for a blog post to run August 14. And I’ll keep them anonymous, unless you tell me otherwise. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.