Presentation on theme: "From Compromise to Collaboration!"— Presentation transcript:
1 From Compromise to Collaboration! How Educational Leaders can Design and Support Collaborative Teaching Teams
2 Defining Collaborative Teaching The collaboration between general and special education teachers for all of the teaching responsibilities for all of the students assigned to a classroom.
3 Rationale for Using Collaborative Teaching Teams Response to meeting LRE requirements of the federal special education law.Limited available research on the subject indicates that when collaborative teaching teams are provided with the appropriate level of supports and services, both general and special education students’ achievement and attitudes improve.
4 Educational Leader’s Role Collaborative teaching teams do not succeed – blame assigned to individual teachers.Teachers’ effort, knowledge, and skills are critical, but this assignment of blame is often misplaced.Most times when the model doesn’t work, there are significant barriers making it difficult, if not impossible for the team to perform effectively.
5 Educational Leader’s Role (continued) The leader must create a supportive school context and performance conditions while leaving ample room for teams to develop their own unique styles and strategies.
6 Five StagesPreparingLaunchingSustainingEvaluatingRefining
7 Stage 1 - Preparing Define tasks Select staff Compose teams Schedule common planning timeSelect a neutral room locationBudget for surprisesCreate realistic classroom rosters
8 Key Point #1 Make the purpose challenging, clear, and consequential. Specify outcomesAvoid specifying details of processAppropriate challenge level - differentiatefor different stages of development
9 Key Point #2Select teachers for collaborative teaching teams that have basic levels of interpersonal skills, task-specific knowledge, and a high degree of personal teaching efficacy.Task-specific knowledge includes mastery of differentiated instructional/assessment practices and collaborative learning models.Personal teaching efficacy is a sense of personal responsibility for meeting the needs of all students.
10 Bonus Point #1Hire teachers with the potential to be effective collaborators.Structure interview process to unveil applicant’s potential for collaborative teachingAppropriate questionsInterviewers knowledgeable about collaborative teaching.
11 Sample Interview Questions What are some experiences you have had working in a collaborative teaching situation?What are some positive and negative experiences you have had working in a team taught setting?How have you handled academic diversity in your teaching experiences?What types of instructional strategies have you used to address student students’ varied approaches to learning?What do you see as the roles and responsibilities of inclusion teaching team members?
12 QuestionWhat other questions might you ask potential candidates for teaching positions in order to determine their potential to teach collaboratively?
13 Key Point #3Compose teams so they are moderately diverse - balance between similarity and difference.Draw attention to handout – Co-Teaching Stages
14 Bonus Point #2When your collaborative teaching teams reach the point of functioning effectively, keep them intact.Stable team membership:Focus on task instead of processKnowledge of team member’s talents/skillsShared commitment
15 Key Point #4Develop schedules for teams that effectively use your personnel resources.Select models based upon student needs and personnel available.
16 Schedule OptionsSpec. Ed. Teacher splits time between 2 classes in one or more periods of the day, based on activities conducted and individual needs of students.Spec. Ed. Teacher co-teaches different classes on different days.Spec. Ed. Teacher serves as a resource for a team of teachers who identify and schedule essential opportunities on a weekly basis.Team of assistants assigned to a Spec. Ed. Teacher. Assistants assigned by teacher based on student needs and assistants’ competencies.
17 Key Point #4 (continued) Provide common planning time.Be creative about arranging for common planning time.
18 Creative Strategies Periodic early release days Faculty meetings/staff development daysRotating/permanent substitutesCombining classesAssemblies and field tripsCompensation
19 QuestionWhat other creative strategies have you (or could you) use to create common planning time for teaching teams?
20 Key Point #5When starting a new team, move the teachers into a new classroom that they set up together.Anything identifying the classroom should include both teacher’s names.
21 Key Point #6Anticipate that teaching teams will need some unexpected equipment and supplies.
22 Key Point #7 Consider severity and nature of student’s disability. Create classroom rosters that are heterogeneous and realistic based on student’s needs.Consider severity and nature of student’s disability.Avoid placing all student’s that could use extra assistance but don’t qualify in collaboratively taught classrooms.
24 Key Point #8Provide team-based training prior to working with students. Content of this training must facilitate the teaching teams having a successful beginning.
25 Example Training Topics Getting acquaintedDefining team teaching and its benefitsTeam parameters and setting mutual goalsDeveloping rules, routines and responsibilitiesModels of collaborative teaching and planningAvailable resourcesCollaborative teaching as a developmental process
26 QuestionWhat additional topics might you include as part of a collaborative teaching workshop?
27 Key Point #9Establish and communicate expectations about the boundaries for team membership and the flow of information between team members and others working with the students.
28 Key Point #9 (continued) Within parameters of the IEP and school/district rules, the team must have the authority to select and manage their performance strategies.Protocols for sharing information between service providers and collaborative teaching team members must be established and understood.
29 Sustaining Reflecting, Problem-Solving and Celebrating. Encouraging the HeartPractice what you Preach!Diagnose and Intervene Appropriately
30 Key Point #10Structured opportunities for collaborative teaching teams to celebrate, reflect, and problem-solve.RefreshmentsTime other than end of school dayRelease time or in place of another responsibilityAdministrative Handout A2
31 Key Point # 11Conduct walk-through observations focused on the positive aspects of the co-teaching situation.
32 Process for Walk-Through Observations Visit collaboratively taught classroomFocus on a concrete, specific aspect of the collaboratively taught situationGive honest, positive feedback either orally or in writing about what was observed
33 Key Point #12Through language and interactions, educational leader must create and sustain a culture which promotes acceptance of individual differences while emphasizing the things those with disabilities can do.
34 Key Point #12 (continued) Focus on individual not disability.Model determination and persistence.Prompt and firm response to “put-downs.”Proactively deal with teacher and student misconceptions about fairness.Demonstrate ownership for all students.Avoid using nicknames to refer to collaboratively taught classrooms.Do not allow teachers to choose to teach collaboratively.Do not allow parents to choose whether or not to have students in collaboratively taught classrooms.
35 QuestionWhat other behaviors can (or do) educational leaders take to create and sustain a school culture that supports collaborative teaching?
36 Key Point #13When collaborative teaching teams are experiencing difficulties, the leader must use observation and discussion to systematically diagnose the problem and target interventions.
37 Key Point #13 (continued) Is the problem primarily related to:Effort?Knowledge and skills?Performance strategies?Material resources?Once the source of the problem is identified, an appropriate intervention can be designed.
38 Evaluating Assess/evaluate the correct things. Balance between formative and summative methods.Use appropriate classroom observation/evaluation tools
39 Key Point #14When assessing and evaluating the results achieved by teams, the leader must consider social and personal criteria in addition to the outputs produced.
40 Critical QuestionsDoes the productive output of the team meet or exceed the performance standards established by school and district leadership?Did the social processes used maintain or enhance the capacity of co-teachers to work together on subsequent team tasks?Does the collaborative teaching team experience satisfy more than it frustrates the personal needs of team members?
41 Key Point #15When conducting an evaluation, the educational leader should collect, analyze, and share both formative and summative data.Data collection and organizationData analysis and strategic planning
42 Key Point #16Traditional observation tools often do not work for collaborative teaching situations.Draw attention to A3 Collaborative Teaching Feedback Form.
43 Key Point #16 (continued) When evaluating a collaboratively taught lesson:use a tool that focuses on the key instructional components of this model.Make sure the tool is designed to provide meaningful feedback likely to result in instructional improvement.
45 Key Point #17Collaborative data analysis and action planning often reveal the need for additional outside expertise or staff training. The leader is responsible for securing these resources for collaborative teaching teams.
46 Final ThoughtsCan you commit yourself to enthusiastically communicating a vision of collaborative teaching teams? Will you do this frequently?Are you willing to persist when others lose faith and question the wisdom of the model?
47 The Bottom LineIf you can combine courage, conviction, and will with the principles articulated in this workshop, you will likely leap the abyss of failure plaguing special education. If not, no amount of resources will be enough for success to be achieved.