Getting Started with Co-Teaching

This summer I have had the pleasure of collaborating with another 7th grade teacher at my middle school. We will be co-teaching 3rd hour Language Arts next year – and possibly 4th hour as well. I think we are both excited to try something new and look forward to: having another adult in the classroom in order to help each other out, better support individual learning needs of students, share in the workload (grading, parent contact, planning, etc.), exchange knowing looks, and take bathroom breaks.

We’ve been lucky to be provided paid work time for collaboration this summer! This is a new experience for both of us. I know that making it work will be hard work and there are many components that contribute to the success of co-teaching. I was not sure where to start with this process and so I did what I do best – research. I’ve found a lot of great resources on how to effectively co-teach and I’d like to share them.

1. “Middle School Co-Teaching: Effective Practices and Student Reflections” Middle School Journal, March 2011

This is where I started. This is an article that I had a copy of sitting on my desk all year, but no time to read until the summer. It was a great summary of how two middle school teachers started and have made the process of co-teaching work. It also contains student reflections on the co-taught classes.

2. “Communicating and Collaborating in Co-Taught Classrooms” Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, May 2009

3. “50 Ways to Keep Your Co-Teacher” Teaching Exceptional Children, March/April 2008

4. “Using Co-Planning Time: Strategies for a Successful Co-Teaching Marriage” Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, March 2009

5. “Lousiana’s Co-Teaching Resource Guide” Lousiana Department of Education, April 2011

The digital version of this file has many useful links to documents that make great tools for regular education teachers, special education teachers, and administrators who are working on creating co-teaching environments. (Especially under the “Planning for Classroom Teachers” section, p. 15 and “Effectiveness of Implementation” section p. 29-30)

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