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What is Co-Teaching?

What is Co-Teaching?

Co-teaching can be one of the best teaching and learning experiences available to both the students and teachers involved! Co-teaching is when two teachers teach the students at the same time. This may sound confusing, but with open communication and planning, can work beautifully.

The benefits of co-teaching include exposing children to different teaching styles and offering more support than a single-teacher classroom.

There are six models of co-teaching: parallel teaching, station teaching, one teach one observe, one assist one teach, alternative teaching, and team teaching.

Parallel Teaching

In parallel teaching, both teachers teach the same content, but in smaller groups. The students are grouped into two groups and each teacher takes a group and assumes the responsibility for teaching that group.

Station Teaching

In this model, both students and content are divided. Each teacher teaches to one group, and then the groups rotate. A third, independent work group, can be added to give students an opportunity for independent practice.

One Teach, One Observe

This is great when the teachers need to collect data. One teacher assumes the role of lead teacher, the other teacher collects data. This requires pre-planning to determine roles and the type of data and collection methods to be used.

One Assist One Teach

This is similar to one teach, one observe. One teacher assumes the role of lead teacher. The other teacher filters throughout the room providing assistance to students in a non-disruptive way.

Alternative Teaching

This model is wonderful when the need to assist one small group arises. Sometimes, the class will have one small group that needs additional instruction to master content. In this model, one teacher takes the small group to teach or re-teach content while the large group works with the other teacher.

Team Teaching

With this model, both teachers are responsible for teaching the class at the same time. Another name for this model is “tag-team teaching”. This can be a very effective model for exposing students to different teaching styles. This model gives the teachers the opportunity to highlight their strengths as teachers and rely on the partner teacher for their respective strengths.

When I was in the classroom, I loved team teaching with my co-teacher! We quickly learned each other’s teaching strengths and used it to our full advantage! We switched back and forth when teaching. When I was teaching, she was supporting kiddos that needed more individualized assistance and vice versa. With our co-teaching we often switched back and forth between models depending on the needs of the students. If your child is offered a classroom where there is co-teaching, it could really be a great experience!

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