Co-teaching has been implemented in a number of classrooms across the Chillicothe school district in an effort to create more opportunities for individualized learning, simplify classroom management and develop more well-rounded lesson plans. In co-teaching classrooms, two or more teachers work together to design and deliver instruction in a manner that benefits both the instructors and students. Assuring district families understand the benefits of this important classroom strategy to their student’s educational experience is important.
“Co-teaching is a huge asset to students because we’re able to give them multiple methods to learn materials,” said Beth Elliot, intervention specialist for middle school math classes. “When a class has two or more teachers, content can be presented from multiple perspectives. For example, I learn best using logic and rules, rather than visual-spatial instruction. My co-teacher, however, is a strong visual learner and is able to present information in that way. Between the two of us, students can find an approach that makes the most sense to them.”
Co-teaching is also beneficial because it lowers the student-to-teacher ratio. With multiple adults in the classroom, student behavior can be closely monitored to put a stop to disruptive behaviors before they become a distraction for peers. The presence of another adult in the room also encourages students to be more engaged because they can discreetly ask questions without feeling like they’re interrupting the lesson.
“My co-teachers and I can get to know our students better using this model,” said Elliott. “I’m more aware of what students have going on in their lives in and outside of the classroom, so I can refer them to the support services they may need and impact their lives in more ways than solely through what they’re learning in class.”
Co-teaching allows the teaching staff to combine resources and expertise, which ultimately speeds up the lesson-planning and development process. During the day, teachers can also meet with more students individually, spending time on what they need academically and emotionally. It also gives staff the opportunity to lead by example and demonstrate how to positively interact with others.
“We get to work with other adults collaboratively and effectively, setting an example for students,” said Kelly Price, second grade teacher. “Our team of teachers is incredibly close, and the students have bought into the positive, united culture we’ve established, which has positively affected the way they work and play together.”
To learn more about the benefits of co-teaching, reach out to Beth Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org.