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  1. Co-Teaching Embracing Change & Becoming Better Educators By: Drayton Shanks

  2. Objectives • Understand what co-teaching is. • Learn how to begin the co-teaching process successfully. • Develop the knowledge base of what it takes to keep a co-teaching relationship functioning at a high level. • Understand that co-teaching is service delivery tool that administration must be highly involved in. • Realize how proper co-teaching will positively affect everyone involved.

  3. What is Co-Teaching • Co-teaching is a collaborative effort between two or more teachers, usually a general educator and a special educator, on every intricacy in their shared classroom (Harbort, Gunter, Hull, Brown, & Venn, 2007).

  4. There are many factors that go into making this style of teaching successful, and they must all be met with the utmost dedication by everyone involved. A general educator was quoted saying “I know how beneficial it (co-teaching) is to the students. It's not always easy to work with another adult, but because it is so powerful for the students, I think it's worthwhile, whatever the inconvenience it might be for the teachers" (Cramer, & Nevin, 2006). Co-Teaching

  5. Co-Teaching • In many cases, a major reason for introducing co-teaching is to ensure students with disabilities are receiving the same curriculum and teacher time as other students within the classroom. • For this process to occur the educators involved must participate fully, but not necessarily in the same way, when developing and implementing classroom instruction (Friend, & Hurley-Chamberlain, 2009).

  6. Co-Teaching • Although special education students and co-teachers are apparent within a single co-taught classroom, the students should be grouped heterogeneously as a class, and the teachers should work with all of the students in the classroom with the view of “our” students (Friend, & Hurley-Chamberlain, 2009). • By simply placing another educator in a single classroom, and telling the teachers involved to “co-teach,” does not mean this is what will transpire. • One teacher can not be involved to merely help the “main” educator when deemed necessary, nor can an obvious division between special education students and their peers be present.

  7. Co-Teaching • A co-teaching pair must be both extremely cooperative and assertive at the same time, in order to be collaborating together properly. A lack of either of these two will result in a poor relationship.

  8. Co-Teaching • Co-teaching can produce the ability to provide precise instruction and attention to students, at the exact time in which they need it (Murawski, & Hughes, 2009). • Co-teachers must develop a special bond with one another to be successful. • They must collaborate and consult with one another regularly on various topics and issues.

  9. Co-Teaching • Co-teaching pairs should not be selected randomly by administrators. • These relationships should be founded on mutual areas of commonality, such as the desire to be a part of the co-teaching in the first place (Simmons, & Magiera, 2007). • It is ideal to have teachers volunteer for co-teaching, although it is inevitable this will not always be the case. But, just because teachers have not volunteered for this service, does not mean it is not important to place a high emphasis on ensuring they will make a successful co-teaching couple.

  10. Co-Teaching • In a study done interviewing fifteen secondary teachers from suburban and urban areas in the Seattle area, each teacher was asked what the most important feature of a co-teaching relationship was (Kohler-Evans, 2006). • The number one answer was common planning time, followed very closely by having a positive co-teacher relationship (Kohler-Evans, 2006). • Teachers should have similar values and philosophies on teaching in order to produce a greater co-teaching combination (Kohler-Evans, 2006).

  11. Co-Teaching • It has been shown that co-taught classrooms produce a superior consistency in behavioral and academic success (Murawski, & Hughes, 2009). • It is the proper foundation being laid by administration, and correct steps followed by educators that make these results possible.

  12. Co-Teaching • Co-teaching involves a great deal of work for the educators involved, but for ultimate success there must also be a strong presence of administrative support in this area (Friend, & Cook, 2010). • It is the administration’s job to support planning/ scheduling time, as well as provide sufficient training for all teachers involved in the process of co-teaching (Cramer, & Nevin, 2006). • Teachers will embrace and succeed in co-teaching if they have a strong group of leadership (administration) guiding them along.

  13. Co-Teaching • Along with support teachers must also have an unabated open line of communication with one another for co-teaching to succeed. • This communication has to be constant, honest, confidential, and produce growth (Kohler-Evans, 2006).

  14. Co-Teaching • It is also important that if two teachers are brought together, and develop a successful co-teaching relationship with one another, that they are not separated (Simmons, & Magiera, 2007). • When co-teaching is done correctly the structure is seen as “team teaching”, which entails both teachers are involved in every aspect of the classroom equally (Harbort, et al., 2007). • Results of increased academic success and positive co-teacher relationships occur when the level of “team teaching” is reached.

  15. Co-Teaching • Team teaching, or equal partnership, is the ideal way for a co-teaching relationship to work in the classroom. There are however six other ways in which the relationship can function within the classroom.

  16. Co-teaching • A co-teaching relationship requires communication, dedication, knowledge, and desire. • Students, teachers, and parents all benefit from successful co-teaching. • Trying something new can be difficult, but co-teaching should be embraced by educators everywhere.

  17. References • Cramer, E., & Nevin, A. (2006). A Mixed methodology analysis of co-teacher assessments. Teacher Education & Special Education, 29(4), Retrieved from • Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2010). Interactions: collaboration skills for school professionals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. • Friend, M., & Hurley-Chamberlain, D. (2009). Is Co-teaching effective?. Retrieved from =7504 • Harbort, G., Gunter, P.L., Hull, K., Brown, Q., & Venn, M.L. (2007). Behaviors of teachers in co-taught classes in a secondary school. Teacher Education & Special Education, 30(1), Retrieved from

  18. References Continued • Kohler-Evans, P.A. (2006). Co-teaching: how to make this marriage work in front of the kids. Education, 127(2), Retrieved from • Murawski, W.W., & Hughes, C.E. (2009). Response to intervention, collaboration, and co-teaching: a logical combination for successful systemic change. Preventing School Failure, 53(4), Retrieved from • Simmons, R.J., & Magiera, K. (2007). Evaluation of co-teaching in three high schools within one school district: how do you know when you are truly co-teaching?. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 3(3), Retrieved from