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Planning for effective co-teaching: The key to successful inclusion. Co-teaching experiences: The benefits and problems that teachers and principals report over time. As academic standards for the education of students with disabilities are held to the same standards as their typical peers due to the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the co-teaching model has been increasingly implemented to meet those needs.
However, collaborating individuals need to know their own strengths, weaknesses and predilections. Most definitions stress collaborate teaching as a collaboration between special and general education teachers for all teaching responsibilities for all students.
Anticipate possible challenges by getting to know partner, assessing compatibility and openly acknowledging and discussing areas of discordance. The process requires special education and general education teachers to be in the same room during the same lesson, both participating in instruction but with roles that vary according to lesson goals and student needs.
Co-teaching is the collaboration of two or more credentialed teaching professionals, most typically a general education teacher and a special education teacher.
To truly qualify as a co-teaching model, each teacher must be actively involved in the teaching of the lessons.
The relationship between the educators is the core of co-teaching and requires significant time and commitments from both.
Success, or conversely failure, of a co-teaching venture is often reported to depend upon a teacher’s personality or style; unfortunately, many teachers lacked clear definitions of collaboration and co-teaching.
Both teachers share classroom responsibilities and work together to plan lessons, design classroom activities, cover content, evaluate progress and implement standard and specially designed instruction.
While collaborative teaching appears to take the burden off the individual teacher, it calls for effort not only in lesson planning, but in relationship building, and development of effective style of teaching so that both teachers and students gain from the concept.
In parallel teaching, students are divided into two equal groups and each partner teaches the same material; this method ensures diversity and lowers teacher-student ratio, but requires that both teachers have similar content knowledge and teach at a similar pace.
In alternative teaching, one teacher works with a small group of students who need additional instruction, while the other teacher works with the remaining students; this benefits those students who need more intensive instruction, but it can stigmatize them if they are always placed in this small group instruction.