If you happen to be lucky enough to be co-teaching this year, then we wanted to share a resource from a current issue of TEACHING Exceptional Children called “50 ways to keep your co-teacher.” You might want to review this article to give you some tips to make it a great year; if you are a CEC member, you should have access to it. The article abstract can also be found here (Murawski & Dieker, 2008).
Also keep in mind to talk with your co-teacher about how he or she feels the co-taught class is progressing on a regular basis. All of us involved with posting this month have been involved in co-teaching, and we have found it to be a very rewarding experience. It is important when you co-teach that you plan as a team. There are two tools out there to help with planning. One is a traditional plan book that can be found in the CEC store. There is also an electronic planning tool by my colleague Wendy Murawski that can be found at http://www.2teachllc.com.
Whatever model you choose, planning is a key element to success.
Tip from my co-teaching experience
I would like to share with you the best tip I learned from co-teaching with my colleague in English. She suggests that in every classroom, every day, every kid should be: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and Viewing (Ousley, 2007). I think this a great rule. If you try to divide your co-teaching roles into each of these activities daily, you can embrace a range of learners and keep kids more engaged. This article can be found here.
Speaking of engaged — if you haven’t seen the You-Tube video on the “Vision of K-12 Students Today,” I recommend you watch it to help you think about how important it is to use the strengths of both teachers to engage all learners in today’s classroom.