Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.
Are you curious about team teaching? We have answers to some of your questions!
What is Team Teaching?
- Usually occurs in inclusion classrooms
- Two or more teachers working together to teach a group of students
- Together, teachers plan, organize, teach, and evaluate
- Teams may be single-discipline, interdisciplinary, or school-within-a-school
- Co-teaching = general education teacher + special education teacher
- Team teaching = both teachers plan and teach lessons
- Parallel teaching = each teacher instructs half of the class, the same lesson
- Alternative teaching = one teacher instructs a small group of struggling students while the other teachers the larger group, might be the same lesson or struggling group may receive extra support on previous lessons
- Teacher and assistant = one teacher instructs while other teacher monitors and assists students as necessary, this can also be used in a teacher/observer manner to gather data regarding student progress
How Does it Benefit Students?
- Students receive more individual attention
- Students learn from teachers with different teaching styles, experience, perspectives, and ideas
- Improved student-teacher relationships
- Students achieve at higher levels
- Daily consistency: the likelihood of both partners being absent is slim
How Does it Benefit Teachers?
- Easier to differentiate instruction
- Allows teachers to reflect on personal teaching strategies, style, ideas, perspectives, etc.
- Improves teaching skills
- Cultivates professional peer relationships
- Improves parent-teacher communication
With Your Teaching Partner(s), Be Prepared To:
- Plan everything together
- Create common grading standards
- Be honest, yet tactful
- Play to one another’s strengths
- Disagree politely
- Communicate openly and often
- Have humor
- Trust your teaching partner
- Be organized
- Be flexible
Team teaching can be rewarding for students and teachers. If this sounds like an adventure upon which you’d like to embark, begin by talking with your administrator and potential teaching partner(s). In some cases, it may take up to a year to prepare for a team-taught classroom, so begin your team teaching dialogue sooner rather than later.
Have you team-taught or co-taught before? In the comments below, please share your team teaching advice!
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