Co-teaching is becoming an increasingly popular teaching model in schools across the globe. This type of teaching arrangement has a multitude of advantages for both new and experienced teachers, and it offers a number of advantages when it comes to supporting struggling learners.
In fact, a meta-analysis of research has indicated the benefits of quality co-teaching environments include increased reading and math achievement and decreased behavior issues.
In this blog post, we will discuss what co-teaching is and the four different models. I'll also share tips on how to get started if you are interested in pursuing a career as a co-teacher!
What is co-teaching?
Co-teaching is defined as “an instructional strategy in which two teachers work together with a group of students in the same classroom.” This type of arrangement provides educators with the opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues, share resources and ideas, and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners.
Often, one professional is a general education teacher and the other is a special education teacher. Sometimes there can be three or more educators in one classroom. In short, co-teaching is when two or more teachers are teaching the same class at once.
The Four Models of Co-teaching
There are four commonly implemented models educators can use to support student learning. While there are several others, they are:
The Parallel Model: In this model, both teachers are working with the same group of students simultaneously. Each teacher is responsible for a different content area or skill set.
The Stationary Model: This model is similar to the parallel model, except that the teachers take turns working with the students. One teacher works with a group of students while the other teacher observes. After a set amount of time, the roles are reversed and the other teacher gets a turn to work with the students.
The Alternative Teaching Model: In this model, each teacher is responsible for a different group of students. The teachers take turns teaching the content while the other teacher works with a small group or individual students.
The Team Teaching Model: This is when both teachers are working with the entire class at the same time. They are both responsible for planning and delivering instruction.
Most co-teaching classrooms use a combination of these models to meet the needs of their students. I want to note that all four models can be used in an inclusive setting, meaning that all students are welcome in the classroom regardless of their ability level.
Advantages of Coteaching
There are many advantages to this model, both for teachers and students. Some of the benefits of co-teaching include:
- Allows for Differentiation: One of the biggest advantages is that it allows for differentiation. With two teachers in the classroom, there is more opportunity to meet the individual needs of each student.
- Increased Student Engagement: We know that engaged students are more successful with learning. Co-teaching allows for increased student engagement because there are two teachers working to keep students interested and engaged in the material.
- More Support for Students: Another advantage is that it provides more support for students. Having two teachers in the classroom means that there is always someone available to help students who are struggling.
- More Support for Teachers: In addition to providing more support for students, co-teaching also provides more support for teachers. With two teachers working together, there is someone to bounce ideas off of and collaborate with.
Challenges of Coteaching
While there are many advantages, it is important to be aware of the challenges that you may face. Some of the challenges of co-teaching include:
- Organization: One challenge that you may face is organization. It can be difficult to keep track of two different lesson plans and make sure that both teachers are on the same page.
- Scheduling: Another challenge is scheduling. It can be difficult to find time to meet with your co-teacher to plan lessons and collaborate.
- Different Teaching Styles: Another challenge that you may face is different teaching styles. It is important to find a way to work together despite different teaching philosophies.
How to Get Started
I hope you found this information helpful. If you are interested in getting started, there are a few things that you can do to get the ball rolling.
First, talk to your administrator about the possibility in your school. Once you have the green light from your administrator, reach out to a colleague who you think would be a good fit and express your interest in co-teaching.
Finally, start planning lessons and collaborating! Co-teaching is a great way to improve student achievement and support teachers. With a little planning and collaboration, you can make it work in your classroom.
Do you have any questions about co-teaching? Leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them!