Section 1: A Nod to the Literature
What is Co-Teaching?
According to The Academy for Co-Teaching and Collaboration, co-teaching is when two or more professionals work together as they plan for, instruct, and assess a shared group of students in a common space.
To more fully understand co-teaching, it may be easier to consider what it is not. Co-teaching is NOT...
One instructor teaching while one instructor is grading.
One instructor teaching while one instructor is tutoring.
One instructor teaching in one classroom while another is teaching in a separate space.
One instructor teaching literacy while the other is teaching math.
Co-Planning and Co-Teaching
The Academy for Co-Teaching and Collaboration identifies myriad benefits for co-teaching as a mentoring structure. These include increased opportunities for 1) using flexible grouping 2) collaborating with colleagues and 3) trying new strategies. Co-teaching can reduce the student/teacher ratio, which in turn creates opportunities for greater student engagement and participation.
Collaboration between co-teachers increases opportunities to effectively implement High Leverage Practices (HLPs). This partnership enhances data-based discussions that impact instructional decisions, creates new possibilities for differentiating instruction, and provides students with consistent access to individualized support.
Co-teaching is common practice in PK-12 classrooms, yet new teachers are not often prepared with a deep understanding of the models of co-teaching and/or how to plan to put the models into practice. Mentors of new teachers may need to provide support for developing an understanding of co-planning and co-teaching with new teachers.
"Co-teaching is when two or more professionals work together as they plan for, instruct, and assess a shared group of students in a common space."
Incorporating coteaching during field experiences and internship provides teacher candidates with an introduction to and scaffolded practice with this important teaching approach. Research suggests effective implementation of co-teaching during internship positively impacted student learning (Bacharach, et al., 2010).
Pause & Reflect
Directions: Pause and reflect on what you learned. Use the questions below to guide your thinking and record your thoughts in your Module 3 Companion Guide.
What role might co-planning and co-teaching play in your mentoring of a teacher candidate or new teacher?
What potential challenges do you anticipate?