Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Co-Teaching Approaches

The following are some Co-Teaching Approaches, specifically geared towards, but not limited to, Inclusion.  These strategies can also be used for Strategic Interventions and Teacher Rotation.

One Teach, One Assist  Also known as one teaching/one drifting.  One teaches, the other constantly moves about room monitoring behaviors and helping other stay engaged; Requires little joint planning; Works well with educators and certified teachers who do not feel comfortable leading instruction.  This should not be the only method by two certified co-teachers (roles should be interchanged); Can be distracting to some students or encourage dependent learners.

Station Teaching  Students move from one station to another using preset time/schedule; much like learning centers;  Station teaching could have up to three stations if using independent work stations; Requires joint planning and shared responsibility for delivering instruction; Lowers student-teacher ratio.  The most common problems occur with transition and noise levels-must monitor and adjust as instruction takes place.

Parallel Teaching  Essentially the same lesson is taught to half the class; Reduces teacher-student ratio.  Both groups have regular and special education students.  Great for re-teaching, reviewing for tests, projects, and cooperative learning activities.  Should not be for initial instruction, unless both teachers are proficient in the concept being taught.  Requires joint planning and shared responsibility for instruction.

Alternative Teaching  One co-teacher takes a small group to teach something different from what the large group of students will be taught; Great for pre-teaching, re-teaching, assessing specific skills, IEP goals, and PEP plans.  It is important not to stigmatize students or keep some students from accessing the regular curriculum.  Both teachers should take responsibility for small group at various points throughout the year.  This requires join planning and shared responsibility for instruction.

Team Teaching  Both teachers are teaching and planning for instruction; Teachers alternate leading discussion and demonstrating concepts.  This requires the most amount of joint planning, commitment, compatibility, comfort level, and mutual trust to be a successful strategy.  When used effectively, students will view both teachers as the same.  Teachers need to constantly reflect together as a team, rather than individually.  Both teachers need to confer with each other about the satisfactory of instruction.

Resource: Friend, M. & Cook, L. (2007). Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals. Boston: Pearson.

Thanks for reading,


The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.

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