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CO-TEACHING A Promising Practice Intended to Improve Learning Outcomes for All Students Presented by: Tracy Huckell Student Services Coordinator GSSD May.

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Presentation on theme: "CO-TEACHING A Promising Practice Intended to Improve Learning Outcomes for All Students Presented by: Tracy Huckell Student Services Coordinator GSSD May."— Presentation transcript:

1 CO-TEACHING A Promising Practice Intended to Improve Learning Outcomes for All Students Presented by: Tracy Huckell Student Services Coordinator GSSD May 2010

2 Overview of Presentation
What Co-Teaching Is Benefits Co-teaching Approaches The Teaching Partnership Stages of Co-Teaching Other Considerations Videos of Co-Teaching Partnerships Information from “A Guide to Co-Teaching” 2008 Literature review created by Karen Anderson for the Ministry of Education in 2008 Reg’s San Antonio conference

3 What is Co-Teaching? Involves two or more professionals delivering instruction to a diverse or blended group of students in a single physical space A sharing of teaching responsibilities A service delivery model that is based on the philosophy of inclusion and supports collaborative practices among professionals. Joint planning, joint instruction, joint assessment

4 Rationale for Co-Teaching
“Co-teaching arrangements … are one promising option for meeting the learning needs of the many students who once spent a large part of the school day with special educators in separate classrooms.” Friend, 2007, p. 48

5 Rationale for Co-Teaching
Promotes principles of inclusion and collaborative practice among teachers Provides a number of benefits for students, teachers, and organizations “Educators must pull together by sharing their work through collaboration; too much knowledge and too many skills are needed for any single professional to keep up with and master all of them.” Friend & Pope, 2005, p.59

6 Benefits to Students Access to general education curriculum and classroom teacher Increases individualized instruction and teacher attention Enhances academic performance Reduces stigma associated with the “pull-out” model Stronger peer relationships and social skills Better attitudes about themselves, academic performance and social skills Increased participation of students with disabilities Continuity of instruction during teacher absence Students exposed to positive models of adult collaboration and team work All students have the opportunity to gain an appreciation of diversity within their learning and social community The literature identifies a number of benefits for students with special needs, such as … (read the list) Many of these benefits have been identified through interviews with teachers and students who have been involved in a co-teaching classroom. The literature also suggests that students who are not identified as special needs may benefit from being in a co-taught classroom. They have access to two teachers working in the classroom, they witness to a model of collaborative teamwork, and they gain an appreciation for diversity within their learning and social community.

7 Benefits to Teachers Opportunity for professional growth through the sharing of knowledge, skills, and resources ie. teaching strategies, styles, ways to differentiate Increases job satisfaction and decreases feelings of isolation Reduces student-teacher ratio Student support teachers increase their understanding of general education curriculum and classroom expectations General educators increase their ability to adapt/modify lessons Improves communication between special and general education teachers Ability to intensify instruction Second set of eyes valuable for difficult situations…extreme behavior, subtle bullying etc.

8 Benefits to Schools and Divisions
Promotes and sustains inclusive practices Enhances sense of community within general education classrooms when students with diverse needs are educated along side their non-disable peers Fewer referrals for special education services…needs are better addressed in the classroom Parent satisfaction Staff more united…greater appreciation for the knowledge & expertise of others

9 Co-Teaching Approaches
Supportive Teaching One teacher leads and the other observes or offers assistance Parallel Teachers work with groups and present the same information. Complementary A teacher enhances the instruction provided by the other teacher (i.e., mini lesson) Team Both teachers share the planning and the instruction in a coordinated fashion. Different authors refer to slightly different names for the categories Teachers can decide to use one approach for an entire lesson or use more than one approach within a lesson. Villa, Thousand, and Nevin suggest that no one co-teaching approach is better than another. These authors advise teachers who are just starting out to perhaps consider beginning with supportive and parallel teaching, and as they develop confidence and trust, move to complementary and team teaching. See additional handouts – Table 4: Description of Co-teaching approaches and Co-Teaching Models

10 Supportive Co-teaching
One teacher leads the instruction and the other observes or assists students…similar to teacher/EA partnership Often overused as it requires the least amount of change Does not capitalize on the expertise and talents of both teachers It is important that the supportive teacher not become ‘velcroed’ to individual students Should take place most often in the classroom, but may have short periods of time with a child or group outside the classroom if necessary

11 Parallel Co-teaching Involves co-teachers presenting the same or different content to groups of students. In one variation, called “Station Teaching”, co- teachers presents different content to small groups of students. Students rotate through the classroom stations. One of the stations may require students to work independently. This approach provides more individualized support and allows students to receive content from two different teachers using different strategies. (ie. same concept introduced in different ways in order to reinforce)

12 Complementary Co-teaching
One teacher enhances the instruction of another. This can be accomplished by performing a demonstration or providing a mini-lesson within a lesson. Capitalizes on the teaching strengths of both teachers, but requires more planning time, more flexibility, and a higher degree of trust than the first two approaches. A variation of this approach is what is called “alternative teaching” where one teacher teaches the whole class, while the other pre-teaches, re-teaches, or enriches the lesson to a small group of students. This approach can provide greater individualized instruction.

13 Team Teaching Co-teaching
Involves both teachers sharing in the planning and the delivery of the instruction in a coordinated fashion. Lessons could be divided based on each teacher’s strengths or both teachers could instruct simultaneously in an almost conversational manner. This approach requires a good working relationship between the teachers and a high level of trust. See handout – Table 4 – Description of Approaches Reg’s handout – Co-Teaching Models p. 16

14 Things to Consider Each co-teaching approach is a valid option
Some partners evolve through the ‘stages’ and others try all approaches within a few weeks of working together The best way to learn to co-teach is to co-teach and learn by doing

15 Implementation Considerations for Teachers involved in Co-Teaching
The teaching partnership Pre-planning Selecting & scheduling teachers Co-teaching approaches Professional development Common planning time Assessment Administrative support

16 The Teaching Partnership
“Partners much establish trust, develop and work on communication, share the chores, celebrate, work together creatively to overcome the inevitable challenges and problems, and anticipate conflict and handle it in a constructive way.” Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2004, p. 3 This involves a whole new way of working together and can fail if the relationship is not solid. It is essential teaching partners not only develop plans for student learning, but develop their working relationship so that they can be effective and find joy in working together. This will also proved students with an excellent model of team work.

17 Factors in Building and Maintaining Positive Relationships
Trust and respect Commitment to team goals Effective interpersonal, collaborative, and conflict resolution skills Understanding of self and partner Continuous investment of time Trust and respect is developed over time as the partners fulfill commitments to one other and share the workload, resources, and their expertise. Commitment to team goals – Co-Teachers need to commit to team goals and focus on these goals. This often means letting go of one’s own preferences and finding new ways of doing things together. Shared goals provide direction and purpose, offer a measure of accountability and growth, and build the bond between co-teachers. Understanding self and partner - partners should discuss what bugs them, their pet peeves, their struggles, their victories etc. Knowing yourself will help you get your needs met. Knowing your partner will help you to assist them in meeting their needs. Continuous investment of time - Relationships need an investment of time. If you shortcut this area, you can do irreparable damage to the relationship between colleagues, the climate in a classroom/school, and the co-teaching initiative (no one else is going to want to try it). Beneficial for Teacher/EA relationship as well.

18 Stages to Co-Teaching Beginning Stage Compromising Stage
Collaborative Stage There is a developmental nature associated with the teaching partnership. Teaching partners need to recognize the developmental nature of the co-teaching relationship and strive to reach the collaborative stage.

19 Beginning Stage Communication may be guarded
Often one teacher teaches and the other assists One teacher is typically designated the behavior manager

20 Compromising Stage Communication is more open and interactive
Planning is shared Both teachers are involved in the instruction through mini-lessons There is a mutual development of rules and routines for students

21 Collaborative Stage Effective communication is modeled for students
Planning is continual both outside and during instruction Both teachers participate simultaneously in presenting the lesson The teachers have a co-developed classroom management system that includes individual behavior plans See additional handouts attached: Table 2 – Developmental Stages chart – share the components Table 12.1 Checklist of Skills for Stages of Co-teaching Development p. 151 - Collaborative Teaching Reflection Form – p. 117 - Co-Teaching Stages p

22 Obstacles/Barriers Fear of conflict Dealing poorly with frustration
Lack of a shared vision or an inability to work with colleagues possessing different personalities or philosophies Poor communication among partners Low self-esteem or a lack of PD – train as partners Lack of teacher knowledge & skill in classroom management, research-based instruction & high quality assessment methods Lack of willingness to invest the time or effort Reluctance to ‘lose’ control of the classroom Lack of administrative support or understanding

23 Roles and Responsibilities
“The biggest challenge for educators is in deciding to share the role that has traditionally been individual: to share the goals, decisions, classroom instruction, responsibility for students, assessment of student learning, problem solving, and classroom management. The teachers must begin to think of it as our class.” Ripley, in Cramer, 2006, p.13 An important aspect of the teaching partnership is having a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each teacher. Roles and responsibilities will likely be based on the expertise of each teacher, the amount of time the partners spend in planning the lesson, and the developmental stage of the teaching partnership. It is helpful to determine who is doing what “before”, “during”, and “after” the lesson. There are two key points to keep in mind with respect to roles and responsibilities: 1. It is important for students to view the teachers as equals, or they will tend to only accept help from the teacher who plays the dominate role. 2. It is important to fully utilize the skills, strengths, and expertise of each teacher. This will ensure that the educational experience for students is enhanced and that both teachers remain motivated in co-teaching. See additional handout p Tips and Strategies for Role Differentiation – Teacher Actions during Co-teaching – useful with EAs as well Roles & Resp. p. 10 Reg’s stuff – applies to EAs as well Rules & Routines p.8 – Reg’s stuff – good for EAs to know the routines as well

24 Key to Successful Co-Teaching
The three ‘C’s of Co-teaching are: Communicate Communicate in a different way Communicate again! “Do you see what I mean?” “Does that sound right to you?” “Can you share your thoughts about how we should do this?” - The more flexible and versatile your communication skills are, the more likely you will be able to communicate successfully with your co-teaching partner. - When co-teachers have their psychological needs met on a daily basis and help meet their partner’s needs as well, they are more likely to thrive despite various stressors along the way.

25 Pre-Planning – 8 Components
Interpersonal communication Physical arrangement Familiarity with the curriculum Curriculum goals and modifications Instructional planning Instructional presentation Classroom management Assessment These components need to be addressed as co-teachers begin to work and plan together.

26 Scheduling Co-teaching can be used with any grade level - preschool to high school. Co-teaching can be used with any subject area, although the literature refers most often to language arts and mathematics.

27 Common Planning Time Schedule co-teachers prep time together
Provide substitute coverage a few times during the year Use school-wide activity days Plan before and after school Combine two classes and release teacher Release teachers from some committee responsibilities Administration cover classes from time to time It is clear from the literature that the greatest complaint of teachers with the co-teaching model was the lack of common planning time. Planning time is needed to plan lessons, to determine curricular and instructional adaptations/modifications, to establish classroom procedures and expectations, to assess student work, and for assessing and working on the co-teaching relationship. Each school will have to determine the options for common planning time that work best for it. Some examples of ways to increase common planning time include … (read the slide).

28 Changing the Way We Think
“The real issue is not just about adding or manipulating time, but changing the fundamental way that teachers do business when they do sit down face-to-face to plan.” Villa, Thousand, & Nevin, 2004, p. 80 Common planning time is important and it is equally important to use that time effectively and efficiently. Teachers can use a common template for lesson and unit planning Figure 11.1 – Co-teaching Daily Lesson Plan Format p. 139 & 140 Sample Unit Plan for Co-teachers p. 17 Sample Daily Plan for Co-Teachers p. 33

29 Professional Development Should Include:
An understanding of co-teaching Development of interpersonal, collaborative, and conflict resolution skills Instructional strategies Knowledge and skills for differentiating instruction Characteristics of learners with different learning needs PD must include structured opportunities to develop the following: mutual goals, shared classroom rules and routines, discussing and agreeing upon initial roles and responsibilities, collaboratively organizing the classroom space, understanding different teaching strategies, and collaborative planning and instruction. Co-teachers should also consider visiting other co-teaching partners to learn from their experiences. Villa, Thousand, and Nevin suggest that “people who co-teach are in an ideal situation to spur their own professional growth through dialogue with their co-teachers.” Many teachers identified professional growth as an important benefit of being involved in co-teaching. See additional handouts p. 193/194 Resource M – Self-Assessment: Are we Really Co-teachers? P. 11 Reg’s stuff – Practical Strategies P. 13 – Multiple Intelligence Strategies – tools that can assist in meeting the needs of learners in a diverse classroom

30 What a Better Way to Teach
“The practice of co-teaching has the potential to be a wonderful strategy for meeting the needs of all students. Working in partnership with another teacher, bouncing ideas off of one another, planning and orchestrating the perfect lesson, having two pair of eyes and four hands, creating something that is better than that which each partner brings alone…what better way to teach?” Kohler-Evans, 2006, p. 3

31 Closing Thought “All students benefit when their teachers share ideas, work cooperatively, and contribute to one another’s learning. There is a growing research base to support this claim.” Villa, Thousand & Nevin, 2004, xiii Watch short videos of co-teaching here. Questions or comments?

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