co-teaching

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by drapes330, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. drapes330

    drapes330 Companion

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    Sep 17, 2008

    Are there any other resource teachers co-teaching with general ed staff? The entire special ed staff of my school went to a seminar on this today. It was very interesting and seems like it will really reduce the amount of time the students are out of their general ed class (always a good thing for LRE, right?) and maybe be helpful to the other students as well. It sounds like this is something my school wants to implement.

    ...however, it seems to me that this is the kind of thing that should be a school wide initiative. Discussed at staff meetings, time devoted to training and prepping with the two teachers, etc. There is no indication that any of that will happen. I was kinda just told to "try to implement it." Am I supposed to just walk into someone's classroom and be like "hey, I'm co-teaching with you"? If I was a general ed teacher I can't say I would like that so much.

    Is anyone else doing co-teaching in inclusion? What are your experiences? I'm trying not to stress about this...
     
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  3. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Sep 17, 2008

    My experience is limited but I subbed as the co-teacher today and from what I can tell, the regular teacher really likes it. I was able to take some of the load off of her and help the kids who needed it the most, and the kids appreciated it too, b/c they got the extra help they needed w/o having to go to a special class. Also, w/o actually saying or doing anything I could walk by and keep the ADD kids on task, even though they don't usually have IEPs--so I was able to help all the kids, not just the special kids. When all the kids have more help the teacher can do more with the kids.

    I can't answer to how they divide up their duties, but I think that would have to be an individual thing based on your strengths. It's done a lot here in the St Louis schools and seems to be working.
     
  4. AZSpedtchr

    AZSpedtchr Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I'm doing 1/2 day inclusion and 1/2 day pull-out this year. I chose the kids that I thought would fit best in each. However, as the year progresses and we qualify/acquire more students, we shall see how this plays out schedule-wise.
    So far I have learned to be very direct with the teachers I am working with.......not difficult, just direct about what the kids need in order to be more successful.:)
     
  5. teachinLA

    teachinLA Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2008

    I use to be a full time inclusion teacher in one classroom and it was so nice since my co-teacher and I did everything together and it was a great learning experience for both of us. This year I just started working as the RSP and we service some of the kids in our resource room and some kids in their classroom. The way we do it, we come in when the teacher is working with small groups and we pull our own small group. We don't work with just the kiddos that are on the IEPs. Sometimes we work with all the kids since the teacher rotates the groups and we are one of the rotations and sometime we work with kids on IEPS and those kids who are lower, who the teacher feels will benefit from the extra support. (the reason I say we is because there are 2 resource room teachers and 2 aids and we all come in and out of the rooms.) Also teachers who we find not to be very open to us providing services in their classroom we just bring those kids to the resource room. I hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  6. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Sep 20, 2008

    My experience with co-teaching has varied in my experience so far. I had two teachers who were not too excited about co-teaching, and it was challenging to work with them and take equal duties. I only taught once with each of them, and so it was hard to get into a groove.

    This year, I work with my partner teacher twice a day (four different sections of the same class). We have both planning periods together (AB schedule). I am also certified in English, and so we are both knowledgeable on the content. She is very flexible and willing to accomodate students.

    We have been observed by others, who said our roles are blurred. We both teach, we both plan, and many of the students (even those with IEPs) may not know who is who.

    Interestingly enough, my co-teacher is very visual, so we leave the formatting of graphic organizers and charts to her (we both plan them, but she generates them). I offer just as much content input as she does (she sometimes claims I offer more!). Sometimes we bounce off each other in a lecture. We both work around the room when we monitor individual work. We have arbitrarily split the class in half to each lead a smaller group.

    Many times, an adaptation for one becomes the adaptation for all. Options to type the graphic organizer is available for everyone. Extended time on tests is offered for everyone (but those who don't need it, won't use it). Grading scales may vary - we know who needs work on what, and so grading writing can be individualized to an extent.

    Since we personally get along so well, it's a phenomenal arrangement.

    My problem is that I want students to see me as an English teacher, not a special education teacher. I think my coteacher and I have accomplished this. Our enthusiasm is evident and the students seem to be enjoying the experience and don't find having two teachers strange.

    Our district has provided some training on co-teaching, though much is left up to individual pairs. Last year we were tossed into it. We had some speakers, but we all know concrete strategies are better. Openness on both ends helps co-teaching work. Also, it is important to distinguish inclusion from co-teaching. While they are linked, they are two different animals.

    Keep in mind, though, that (as far as I know), there is no ideal situation. Each pair will work differently. One teacher may take a predominant role. One teacher may work with only certain stduents. One teacher may be responsible for adaptations. Maybe both teach. I believe that whatever works for each pair must be discovered and utilized.

    Some of my special education coworkers work with three different co-teachers. This is NOT conducive to a strong co-teaching relationship, I think. The fact that I teach the same course with the same teacher four times and have common planning time exponentially increased our chances for success.

    Hope some of these comments/observations/ruminations help.
     
  7. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Sep 20, 2008

    This is my second year of being an inclusion teacher for math, science and social studies. Most of the time I am just that - inclusion. I help students who need it, I work up study guides and modify tests for them. I offer supplemental assistance to my caseload of 9 students every other day. And I work to keep the kids on task. I try to make sure that no one really knows which kids are "mine." My principal says I do a great job of that, thank goodness.
    This year I am trying to be more assertive. I have a weekly co-planning time with the teachers (only 15 minutes once a week) and its more of a way to get the plans prior to the weekend so that I can work on modifications and plans before the lessons happen - to be less reactive and more proactive. The teachers and I also get 10.5 hours per year after school hours for planning. Not a lot I know, but better than nothing. I want to have a true co-teaching experience like Change, I'm not sure it will happen this year but I'm getting closer to it!
     
  8. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Sep 21, 2008

    I'm might be a co-teacher soon. We will be splitting the day. I would teach in the morning and have the prep period so I'll handle the IEP meetings. She'll come in at noon so that I can go on special assignment for support of IEPs and new teachers in the district. I'm nervous that the new teacher and I will have the same philosophy especially since I feel like it's my class and now I need to think of it as our class.
     

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