Mr. Morris is a seventh grade math teacher beginning his second year of teaching. This school year, he has been assigned to teach an inclusion course and will be working with a co-teacher to help meet the diverse learning needs of his class.
Mr. Morris has never worked with a co-teacher before and wants to make sure that this partnership is successful. 🤝
His first step will be to meet his co-teacher, Ms. Ling, and choose a co-teaching model that will work best for them.
Teach and Observe: One teacher instructs and the other observes and collects data to determine how to improve future instruction.
Teach and Assist: One teacher delivers the instruction, while the other teacher moves around the room helping students.
Parallel Teaching: The class is organized into two groups and both teachers instruct the same content.
Station Teaching: The room is divided into learning stations that may include independent learning opportunities. Both teachers facilitate as students move through the stations.
Alternative Teaching: One teacher works with a smaller group and provides more individualized instruction than what the main group receives.
Team Teaching: Both teachers teach the material together at the same time.
After Mr. Morris and Ms. Ling discuss the co-teaching models that will work best they agree to work together on a classroom management plan.
This will provide both teachers the opportunity to voice how their class should operate and allow them to project a united front when students arrive.
Both teachers include their names and contact information on the parent welcome letter and course syllabus.
Mr. Morris clears out space in his room to allow for an extra teacher desk, which sends the message to Ms. Ling that the classroom is a shared space.
Be Open to New Ideas
Ms. Ling wants to try incorporating learning games into the lessons. Mr. Morris has primarily focused on the content in the past. 🎯
Mr. Morris does not 100% agree with Ms. Ling's suggestion but does not take it personally. He respectfully communicates his concerns. 🗣
Ms. Ling listens to his concerns. They agree to incorporate the learning games at the end the week on a trial basis. They will review the data from the next test and modify instruction as needed. 👂
Respectfully working through this disagreement builds trust between the two co-teachers and allows them to learn from each other.
Communicate Plans and Boundaries
Planning together is ideal when working with a co-teacher.
Unfortunately, Mr. Morris and Ms. Ling don't share a similar planning schedule and Ms. Ling is working with another teacher as well.
Mr. Morris and Ms. Ling decide to check in with each other in the morning before school starts. This 10 minute check in allows them to quickly adjust plans as needed. 🕗
They also set up a text thread where they can communicate ideas and quickly adapt plans.
They set clear boundaries that they will only text between certain hours during the week and not on weekends. 📵
When Co-Teachers Clash
Ms. Ling notices that Mr. Morris takes the lead on introducing the lesson daily and seems to prefer having her work individually with struggling students.
Mr. Morris also stops using the learning games without speaking to Ms. Ling first because he didn't like the noise level.
Additionally, Mr. Morris has set up several parent conferences that he forgot to invite Ms. Ling to attend.
Ms. Ling is frustrated because she feels more like a helper than a classroom teacher.
How should Ms. Ling communicate her concerns with Mr. Morris?