Anyone a co-teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Hoot Owl, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2009

    I'm doing a second interview Monday, and I've been asked if I have any formal co-teaching training. Needless to say, I haven't.

    Does anyone know how it works?

    I'll be the G.T. teacher working with a regular classroom teacher, who may or may NOT want me in there. This is something admin is creating. I've had enough experience to know that being in someone's classroom who doesn't want you in there can be miserable.

    Thanking you all in advance for any insight!
     
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  3. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2009

    Hoot owl - I'm afraid I do not have much insight for you, but thought it was a really interesting prospect. I've certainly heard of GT pull-outs but not co-teaching for GT. We have had some training on co-teaching when it comes to Special Ed students - but there are really no set guidelines, even on our campus. The resource teachers are helping implement the IEP's in the classroom.

    I wouldn't worry about what the other teachers think - so many teachers say they just don't have the time or resources to differentiate properly for these kids, so you are helping them accomplish that. Besides think of all the kids you will help.

    Good luck with your second interview!
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2009

    Hoot,
    I co-teach with our gifted resource teacher. They are right -- many teachers don't want someone in their classroom. And many administrators won't correctly cluster classes...so the kids you need to service end up spread all over the place instead of being clustered into 1 or 2 classes -- making it impossible to really co-teach on a regular basis. I'd admire the way our GT teacher works. With teachers who are open, he comes in and does lessons in specific areas with the entire class (not just Gifted students.. this is the core of the cluster model).... For example, he loves teaching math -- logic puzzles, and all kinds of math games...so we do lots of those lessons. You'd be amazed how well the "non-gifted" students do... sometimes better than the gifted students! He isn't so keen on reading, so for those, he makes all kinds of resources available (such as Junior Great Books and reading logic problems) to the classroom teachers. He loves to teach computers and programming, so again, that is an area where he tends to do a lot of direct teaching.

    For teachers who aren't "open" to having him co-teach, he arranges times to take those kids to the computer lab or to an empty classroom (often using other teachers; rooms while they are at specials -- with their permission, of course.) This is contrary to our district's policy of NOT doing pull-outs, but instead doing collaborative cluster co-teaching -- but what can you do if the teacher simply isn't willing? This works well.

    Somehow, he makes it all work, keeps everyone fairly happy, convinces stubborn teachers NOT to punish children by not letting them participate in gifted services (can you imagine there are some teachers like this?)....

    I think the key I'd point out in the interview is that you have to build relationships with teachers who are hesitant to co-teach, and you have to be willing to "adapt" your methods to meet their expectations. The change comes over time...especially if you can keep the same teachers as gifted cluster teachers and not change cluster teachers every single year. For example -- our GT resource teacher likes loud, out-of-your seat participation -- that is just his style. But some classroom teachers are sticklers for "sit in your seat, be quiet ,raise your hand." Even though this is not his style, when he is in their classroom, he has to adapt a bit -- otherwise the classroom teacher is constantly trying to make everyone sit down and be quiet. His teaching method is very interactive and it gets loud. You have to be a master of "blending" approaches.

    Flexibility is the key.

    Good luck with your interview.
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2009

    Thanks for responding KinderCowgirl.

    I emailed the coordinator today expressing my concerns, and at this point in my life I don't want to stay until 5:00 writing lesson plans with another teacher. She said it would be more consulting work vs. actually being in the room with another teacher. She said that the district is just starting the co-teaching, and the principals were wondering what I could offer, thinking I had formal training, which I don't.
     
  6. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2009

    Rainstorm, this is really interesting and I think it's the arrangement they're looking for. This is doable for me, but I'm still anxious. The coordinator told me they thought since I'd had 5 student teachers and 4 formal Novice teachers I might be some assistance in making things flow smoothly.

    During the first interview she sat beside me vs. sitting behind her desk and insisted that I meet two of the principals for lunch that day for a working lunch interview. That was a bit stressful and needless to say I didn't eat much.

    Thanks for the good luck!
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 13, 2009

    Co-teaching can be a great system, but I hate to admit it that I would not want to co-teach (at this time). I'm very particular and work very hard to create my ideal learning environment, and I've had a few educators in my classroom who tend to throw that off a bit. They were not co-teachers, but one educator would try to dictate things and was far too harsh (he was only in the classroom a couple times per week but would try to kill all fun learning activities and moments) while another was so goofy that I couldn't teach for the jokes and whatnot.

    That said, it does boil down to what is best for the students, and if co-teaching will provide better opportunities for the students, then by all means bring it on. The adults just have to work very carefully together to ensure that they do in fact create a better classroom.
     
  8. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2009

    At this point I love co-teaching. If you want to find more about how it can work, go to this website and do the free on-line training (you have to register but it is quick and free). http://www.powerof2.org/
     

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