Helping Student Teachers Through Co-Teaching Programs


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Co-Teaching can be an effective way to assist student teachers as they try to adjust to life in the classroom. Educational consultant Shannon Holden describes the six types of Co-Teaching scenarios, and how they can be used to give novices a better preparation for teaching.

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Helping Student Teachers Through Co-Teaching Programs

  1. 1. Transitioning From College to the Classroom Using Co-Teaching Programs Presenter: Shannon J. Holden Republic R-III Schools
  2. 2. Overview of Today’s Session • What is Co-Teaching? • How was Co-Teaching first used? • How school districts are using Co-Teaching now • Isn’t Co-Teaching Expensive?
  3. 3. Overview of Today’s Session • Six types of Co-Teaching • Advantages/Disadvantages of each • How Co-Teaching keeps teachers in the profession
  4. 4. What is Co-Teaching? • Co-Teaching is otherwise known as Collaborative Team Teaching – a strategy where two instructors split teaching responsibilities in an attempt to differentiate instruction & engage students in the material being taught
  5. 5. How was Co-Teaching first used? • Co-Teaching was first used in the Special Education department
  6. 6. How is Co-Teaching Being Used Today? • School districts are working with Universities to structure their student-teaching programs • School districts are using Co-Teaching to induct and train new teachers
  7. 7. Why is This Necessary? • Traditional pre-service teacher training programs are ineffective • Traditional novice-teacher induction programs (mentoring, etc.) are not effective • Almost half of all novice teachers do not make it five years in the classroom
  8. 8. Student Teaching in the “Olden Days” • Cooperating teacher volunteered to mentor a student teacher in order to “take a break” from teaching • Cooperating teacher handed classes to student teacher – then left the room • The rationale was that the student teacher needed to be alone to “establish herself” as the authority figure in the classroom
  9. 9. Isn’t Co-Teaching Expensive? • • • • Yes, Co-Teaching IS expensive You are lowering the teacher-student ratio Extra teachers will need to be hired What is the alternative? – Unprepared teachers are costly as well!
  10. 10. The Costs of Unprepared Teachers • • • • • High teacher turnover Poor instruction Lower standardized test scores Increase in number of lawsuits Increase of time spent by administrators remediating under-trained staff
  11. 11. Six Types of Co-Teaching • • • • • • One Teach, One Observe One Teach, One Assist Station Teaching (Rotational Teaching) Parallel Teaching Alternative Teaching Tag Team (Traditional Co-Teaching)
  12. 12. Six Types of Co-Teaching • Each type of Co-Teaching has its “Pros” and “Cons” • As a novice teacher, listen to the descriptions of each type of Co-Teaching • Think to yourself “Which type of Co-Teaching would help me grow the most?”
  13. 13. One Teach, One Observe • One teacher (usually the stronger of the two) does all of the teaching • The other teacher floats or observes the class
  14. 14. One Teach, One Observe (Pros) • Minimal coordination or collaboration is necessary • Allows the stronger teacher to deliver highquality lessons without interruption • Can conceal the weaknesses of the weaker partner in a particular subject area
  15. 15. One Teach, One Observe (Cons) • Does not fully utilize each teacher • Can create an authority problem for the observing teacher if done regularly • Can create contempt or frustration from the lead teacher if used too often (unless it is by mutual choice)
  16. 16. One Teach, One Assist • One teacher instructs while the other teacher manages behavior or assists individual students as needed • In my school, this is the prevalent format for our Class Within a Class (CWC)
  17. 17. One Teach, One Assist (Pros) • Allows a strong teacher to deliver lessons without interruption
  18. 18. One Teach, One Assist (Cons) • Does not make full use of two teachers • Can result in establishing the assisting teacher as the disciplinarian (which may lead to negative student feelings towards that particular teacher)
  19. 19. One Teach, One Assist • Beware of a situation where a co-teacher hovers over a specific student or group of students – stigmatizing both the students and the co-teacher • Beware of one teacher becoming the photocopier or in-class paper grader instead of instructor • Beware of resentment because of the unequal status of the teachers
  20. 20. Station Teaching (Rotational Teaching) • Each teacher is responsible for a particular portion of the lesson (or a different lesson entirely) • Students are divided into two or more groups • The students travel from station to station, or the teacher may travel from group to group in order to present their portion of the lesson
  21. 21. Station Teaching (Pros) • Each teacher can plan independently for a lesson that fits their strength • Each student is exposed to similar material, but groups can be differentiated by level • Makes good use of both teachers for management purposes
  22. 22. Station Teaching (Cons) • Requires good timing between the two teachers, which will take practice • Requires management of students as they work independently • Depending on your classroom space, may be logistically difficult
  23. 23. Parallel Teaching • The class is split in half, and each teacher presents the same material (lesson)
  24. 24. Parallel Teaching (Pros) • More individualized instruction/attention due to a smaller group • Can provide control for socially-based behavior problems between students
  25. 25. Parallel Teaching (Cons) • Also requires excellent timing, which will require practice • Requires collaborative planning, which will take time • Requires each teacher to be equally strong in the material being presented
  26. 26. Parallel Teaching • Beware of creating a special class within the class and lowering student achievement by homogeneously grouping lower performing students together • Keep the noise at acceptable levels (difficult when multiple activities are happening at the same time)
  27. 27. Alternative Teaching • One teacher teaches a lesson to the larger group of students • One teacher teaches a different lesson to a smaller group of students
  28. 28. Alternative Teaching (Pros) • Provides excellent differentiation opportunities • Provides opportunities for remediation and enrichment for those who need it • Can provide behavior control in the smaller group setting
  29. 29. Alternative Teaching (Cons) • Must not categorize one group of students by constantly putting them together • May reduce the efficacy of inclusion by separating specific students with special needs • May reduce students’ exposure to the general education curriculum
  30. 30. Alternative Teaching • Beware of one teacher being typecast as the “expert” or “real teacher” • Beware of failing to plan for “role reversal” so that both teachers are able to teach the large group
  31. 31. Tag Team Teaching (Traditional) • Both teachers plan and deliver lessons together, with each teacher equally responsible for the material in the lesson • This can occur either spontaneously or scripted
  32. 32. Tag Team Teaching (Pros) • A great way to model a respectful working relationship between two adults • Allows both teachers to give their input on specific topics • Can allow the teaching of two ideas or strategies at the same time • Promotes respect for both teachers in the team
  33. 33. Tag Team Teaching (Cons) • Requires a rapport between the two teachers that cannot be rushed or faked • Requires meticulous planning as a team, which takes a lot of time and effort
  34. 34. Potential Problems • Beware of not monitoring the students who need it • Beware of too much teacher talk, repetition, and lack of student-student interaction
  35. 35. For ANY of These Models to Succeed, Both Teachers Must: • Establish rapport • Identify your teaching styles and use them to create a cohesive classroom • Discuss strengths & weaknesses
  36. 36. For ANY of These Models to Succeed, Both Teachers Must: • Discuss Individualized Education Plan (IEP) & regular education goals • Formulate a plan of action and act as a unified team • Take risks and grow!
  37. 37. How Co-Teaching Keeps Teachers in the Profession • Co-Teaching results in student teachers being better prepared to embark on their teaching career • Co-Teaching results in new hires being inducted the correct way
  38. 38. How Co-Teaching Keeps Teachers in the Profession • Co-Teaching invigorates veteran teachers by exposing them to fresh ideas • Co-Teaching takes antiquated “Mentoring” programs to a whole new level
  39. 39. How Co-Teaching Keeps Teachers in the Profession • Co-Teaching provides a higher level of instruction for students • Co-Teaching provides opportunities for educators to form professional relatonships that last a lifetime
  40. 40. Possible Uses of Co-Teaching • Student Teacher is “Teacher A” • Cooperating Teacher is “Teacher B” • See next slide for possible co-teaching schedule
  41. 41. Possible Uses of Co-Teaching • • • • • Week 1 – One Teach (B), One Observe (A) Week 2 – One Teach (B), One Assist (A) Week 3 – Station Teaching (A & B) Week 4 – Parallel Teaching (A & B) Week 5 – One Teach (A), One Assist (B)
  42. 42. Possible Uses of Co-Teaching • Week 6 – One Teach (A), One Observe (B) • Week 7 – Traditional Co-Teaching • Teacher A & Teacher B alternate topics during lesson • Week 8 – Teacher A (Solo)
  43. 43. The Combinations are Endless! • The preceding slides are just an example of the ways each co-teaching type can be utilize to help student teachers learn • Each student teacher is unique, and schedules could be individualized if needed