What does coteaching look like?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Preschool0929, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jun 18, 2019

    This fall I’ll be moving from 13 years in self contained to sped resource in elementary. I have a lot of students with both resource and co-teaching time. Can anyone give me some examples of what your time in the gen ed classroom looks like for coteaching? I have a range of goals for coteaching times, but mostly for reading, math, and social skills.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 18, 2019

    It really depends on your co-teacher. I’ve been in co-teaching situations where we both taught the lesson together, and I’ve also been in situations where I acted more as a para, focusing mostly on the students who were on my caseload. Ideally, you’d push in during small group time so that you can both work with groups or provide direct support in some other way. If you’re in there when the gen ed teacher is leading a lesson, then you might just be standing around. It’s boring and demeaning, but it is easy. Your best bet is to find out what expectations your administrators have and then talk with your co-teachers to discuss what your role will look like when in their room. Setting your schedule may be very difficult if you have a lot of rooms to push into in addition to your resource groups, so be prepared for it to be less than ideal.
     
  4. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Jun 19, 2019

    I had a bad co-teaching experience. My admin had this motto that the kids should not even be able to tell who the co-teacher is. That is not realiatic to me. I co-taught with this guy for two class periods. I went to his classroom and was expected to teach along with him. We never once lesson planned together, never discussed who would say what or what parts we had. I felt like a para in there and was scolded at for it. I dont have that gift where I can just jump in on the whim and teach without planning for it. It was just a mess. I prefer to just be on my own.
     
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  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 19, 2019

    Choose small group time to push in if at all possible. so that you and the gen ed teacher can both pull groups. Ideally you'll have some time to collaborate around what those look like, but even if you don't you'll at least still be teaching when you go in. If you go in during whole group, unless you have a ton of common planning time and a classroom teacher who is willing to give up control (IME, this is almost non-existent), you'll be doing a lot of standing around and being in a para role.

    Meet with the teachers you'll be co-teaching with before school starts and talk about what you both envision it looking like. Set up norms and procedures before the year starts. You want to make sure you're coming in as a teacher from minute 1. If you say, "Oh, I'll just observe for a bit and see where I can jump in," you're setting yourself up to be a para right away.
     
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  6. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Jun 20, 2019

    I agree with the above. You can also set the tone by being very visible in the beginning on parent nights and ask for your info to be on initial items sent home. I loved handing over at least one lesson a week in addition to arranging group support and co-presenting, but many don't. Be up front about your preferred terminology in the beginning. "Our shared kids" has a much better tone than yours/mine. Will you assist in taking grades? Would you like to be present for the parent-teacher conferences? So much is possible in setting up the coordination, but never assume a thing. Discuss it directly.
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jun 21, 2019

    I don't co-teach, but a 6th grade math teacher and a sped teacher do a really good job co-teaching. We have common planning time in addition to our planning time so they spend time planning together. They usually teach together and trade off. One of them is always circulating while the other is teaching. I think it's really important for both teachers to co-plan, or the sped teacher becomes the aide.
     
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  8. MissB123

    MissB123 Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2019

    I personally have not had good experiences with co-teaching. I've done it 3 times so far. Each time the teachers were kind of "surprised" and had no inkling I was even coming until the first day. They weren't welcoming and I was always a "para" in the room. I agree with all the above. We never planned and never discussed, all I did was small group at all times or at least try my best for any students I had. My co-teacher didn't allow me to work with other students.
    The co-teaching model is supposed to be 2 teachers showing innovative ideas and switching roles; no teacher ever wanted to sit with my students and switch roles. I tried working with other students and my co-teacher told these students that I was not their teacher and they can't sit with me.

    I told her I can work with anyone! some students need extra help and they may not be classified. It's unfair and the way inclusion teachers are treated and feel are sometimes the worst.

    I have friends who have the best experiences with co-teaching and it can happen depending on the people in the room.
    The vision of it and the way it actually turns out is 2 different models.
     
  9. MissB123

    MissB123 Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2019

    I agree!! Same experience.
     

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