First Meeting with Co-teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sab, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Sab

    Sab Companion

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    Jul 29, 2017

    So, I was just hired at a middle school that follows a co-teaching model where there will also be a teacher with a special education credential in all classes with me. I haven't even signed the contract yet but I guess she has room keys and we're meeting at the school next week. She's already been working there and this will be my first year teaching. Does anyone have any tips?? Should I bring anything to the meeting? I have no idea how this will go...I'm not even sure if it's totally co-teaching or more like she'll be there to assist special ed students or what. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm nervous because I just hope we have similar teaching philosophies! Has anyone worked with a co-teacher?
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Jul 30, 2017

    I co-taught for a few years. I teach high school math. The problem with that was that my co-teachers never really knew the content well enough to really be able to contribute as much as would be ideal. If they did, it would have been great. Middle school I would hope content is less of an issue. That said, I don't like the idea of first year teachers co-teaching. I think teachers should have a year on their own to figure out their own style before trying to mesh with someone else. That said, it might actually be helpful to have someone with experience there to help you.
     
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  4. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Jul 30, 2017

    In certain subjects, we all coteach at my school. I think it is great that she is meeting with you. That's a good sign. I teach my class and our special education teachers push in. Usually, they are there every other day. This makes it hard because they miss a day, but we are short on staff so we do the best we can. They are very busy with ieps, requirements, and other paperwork. Basically, like the other poster said, they might not even know what we are always doing in class. Students test will them and get help on graded assignments. I do make sure that I send down an answer key. Our push in teachers are often in and out of the room even on their day. It is very hectic. To make it worse, our cotaught classes are huge and I am even left on my own. Ask your coteacher how she likes to teach. Do she like to circulate in the room or take students to work elsewhere? Does she also jump in and teach the whole group at times? Different teachers do different things. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things, but communication is important. What are your roles? Do you get planning time together? What does she expect from you? Good luck. It will work out.
     
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  5. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Jul 30, 2017

    I agree that communication is important. I cotaught for 3 years. When it worked how it should (and the coteacher wasn't being pulled for other things) it worked great. My suggestion is to discuss expectations. I will also say put the kids first and don't get into a power struggle. In my experience, I was fortunate because we supported each other and neither of us were easily offended. There were times that she would add to what I was saying and vice versa. With this respect we had for each other we were able to show a united front to the students. I hope that you have a great experience coteaching!
     
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  6. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2017

    I am in a school that does the Co-teaching with a push Sped teacher. I like it. It makes for doing small groups and station rotations easier. As others have said communication is very important. For you meeting, since he/she has been there teaching I would spend sometime getting to know them and ask probing questions about how things had been done in the past. Ask about things they saw that worked and things they saw that totally failed. This person will be a good resource as you are developing your teaching plans. I would take something to take notes with and just go be yourself. Goodluck.
     
  7. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2017

    I hope it works out for you. My Sped teacher was a big fat bully - literally - and tried to take over my class after I let him teach a few lessons bc I needed to get caught up on paperwork. He then insisted on teaching half the block, and when I said no, he consitently tried to undermined me.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Aug 1, 2017

    You probably should have let him take over and just do your paperwork.
     
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  9. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    I had a similar and very negative experience. My co-teacher was a bully. She would be extremely unprofessional and talk down to me in front of students. I have a very easy-going personality and she is a very controlling person who likes things her way. Unfortunately her way was me teaching and her on her computer, shopping on Amazon. She did nothing of value for our ESE kids. And unfortunately, it was my first teaching experience as well. My best advice to you is to have open and honest discussion with this person about what they like, and what they dislike. However, also express how you feel and what things you'd like to try. Co-teaching can be a wonderful thing if the two people are willing to work together and put the kids first.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 2, 2017

    I have no experience with co-teaching but I agree that it's a good sign you guys are meeting. I think this meeting will help you clear up a lot of the questions you have. Talk to your co-teacher and ask all those questions. Once you have some answers, I think you'll feel a little better about the situation, and at least you'll have some idea as to what to expect.
     
  11. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    To AlwaysAttend:
    This is probably terrible, but if my coteacher would teach my class I would jump for joy! Really, I usually am so swamped during the school year that just a minute to get something done would be great. Sadly, most teachers are my school are in similar situations.
     
  12. Sab

    Sab Companion

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    Aug 2, 2017

    Luckily my co-teacher seems great! We're meeting again this week to work on setting up the classroom and designing the grading policy + other classroom policies...meanwhile I'm still waiting for HR to officially hire me...but yes, glad to have someone experienced that will apparently be in most of my classes!
     
  13. sportsguy

    sportsguy Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2017

    I've been assigned a class full of kids with IEP's twice in my career. Both times there was a special education teacher assigned to assist me with the class.

    They showed up maybe 5 times each semester.
     

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