Co-teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by schoolteacher, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 11, 2009

    I finally received an email from my principal (I am new to the school) regarding my September assignment.

    She said: It looks like you may be working in a co-teaching model. (Grade, unsure).

    Am I correct in thinking that this would mean working in a classroom with a special ed teacher? I have to admit I am ignorant about co-teaching. This is a big city school district, and I can't imagine any other scenario.

    Any light you can shed on co-teaching would be much appreciated.
     
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  3. Ceyber

    Ceyber Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2009

    From a quick Google search, it appears that you will either be the spec ed teacher going in (is that your specialization?) or you're the classroom teacher with a spec-ed teacher integrating.

    But, that's all just from punching "Co-Teaching" into Google.
     
  4. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 11, 2009

    I'd be the general education teacher.

    Does anyone here have experience co-teaching? I'd love to hear about your experience.

    It kind of sounded like the principal was undecided about this. She said I may be in a co-teaching situation. She said she would like to meet with me to discuss this issue. I wonder if she wants to check out my personality to see if I'd be a compatible kind of person for the position.

    To be honest, this makes me a little anxious. It could be a really great thing, or it could be not so great, depending on the co-teacher. What if we have really different personalities?

    I feel like I'm getting married to someone, sight unseen.
     
  5. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Aug 11, 2009

    You will be teaching with a special ed teacher. :) I would LOVE to co-teach! I never co-taught, but I would say be very open and flexible.
     
  6. glen

    glen Companion

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    Aug 12, 2009

    I co-taught twice, once as the spec. ed. teacher and once as the gen ed. Both times were for a first grade classroom. When I was the special ed teacher the model and expectations were different than my other experience. The class was overloaded with students on IEPs (9/16!). We operated as two different classes within the one classroom during laguage arts and math. For that class and the children in it, it was the best way we could meet the needs of all of the students.

    My second experience was very different. The special ed teacher and I truly co-taught. Sometimes I took the lead, other times she did. We planned together and worked out as many of the details as we could before hand. We did math, reading, and writing in flexible groups and rotated weekly who guided each group. We could modify easily this way, especially for writing. We had an aide in the room, too, and instructed her in how to assist in guiding a group. It was a great experience for me and the students.
     
  7. NJTeacher82

    NJTeacher82 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2009

    I had experience co-teaching but it had nothing to do with special ed. I taught Math and Science and my co-teacher taught Language Arts and Social Studies. During my "down" time, I would walk around and make sure students were on task and chime in when I wanted to, the other teacher would do the same.

    I loved it. I also loved my co-teacher though.
     
  8. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Aug 12, 2009

    I've co-taught with two special education teachers. the first one was about to retire and never planned with me, only interacted with "her" students, and sat around while i taught. Last year i taught with her replacement, and together we planned an amazing election unit, finally figured out how to do guided math efficiently and effectively, and had an awesome year. My advice: Stay flexible and open to your co-teacher's ideas and teaching style and meet regularly. My current co-teacher had an awful experience before we worked together because the gen. ed teacher he worked with really alienated the special ed students when he wasn't around and was really inflexible. Sharing a small space and students during the day can be difficult, so communication is really important.
     
  9. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 12, 2009

    Thanks to all of your for sharing your experiences and suggestions.

    I will be meeting with my principal next week to talk about it.

    My question to you is this: I would like to set up my classroom next week after talking to the principal, but would it make it seem like I "own" the room if I do that without consulting my co-teacher?

    I don't want to start off on the wrong foot with my co-teacher, who probably has a lot of seniority at the school.
     
  10. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2009

    I co-taught for the first time last year. I was the general ed science teacher and my co teacher was the special ed teacher. My biggest piece of advice would be to develop a relationship with your coteacher. We were able to have a successful year because we worked well together. If this happens all the other stuff will fall into place. On the reverse side there were some coteaching pairs in our school that just did not get along and it showed through to the students.
     
  11. jeifer

    jeifer Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2009

    I co-taught in a Kindergarten classroom. We both were general ed teachers. We had 30 kids and usually got the worse behaved ones because there were 2 of us and it should be easier to take care of problems. We shared a classroom and supplies (everything was pretty much hers though). We split our class between high and low for reading and would switch for most subjects. I was the new teacher and she had been there 3 years already. She already had the room set up and I started a month after school started. I really struggled all year with parents and kids (and other teachers) not to be treated like I was a para or just a sub in the room and I never felt like it was really my room or class.

    I learned a lot from the other teacher but I love having my own room and class because I enjoy doing more hands on things and less whole group teaching.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2009

    This was my experience last year. The collaboration and looking upon the class as "our class" and "our students" is what helps to make it successful for the entire class. As far as personality goes, the teacher I co-taught most closely with last year was almost my complete opposite--early 30s, male, no kids, into video games, etc. It worked amazingly well as our strengths complimented each other.
     
  13. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I just spoke with my principal and found out that I will be teaching 2nd grade with another elementary certified teacher, not a special ed teacher as I originally thought.

    It turns out that the district superintendent is attempting to reduce class size, and if the school does not have the capacity to house another class, then two teachers are put in one classroom of 30 students.

    I'm excited. Thanks for all of your input.
     

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