Question: Dear Mrs. Constande,
I was in your classroom last week and got to see a great lesson that you and your co-teacher taught together. :) I just started co-teaching this year and was wondering how we could smoothly transition into "sharing the stage" like you and Ms. Anderson do so wonderfully!
Thanks for the advice!
Sherrie and I believe whole-heartedly in co-teaching. Co-teaching allows each of us to have our areas of expertise, but to also learn new practices to make our own teaching stronger.
When we first began it was trail by error. Through training and in service we have learned how to teach collaboratively. I think 4 things are important for the model to work between the two teachers: trust, knowledge, and flexibility, and planning.
Sherrie and I have total trust in each other. I trust her with her content areas and she trusts me with mine.
We learn about the different content areas through planning and practicing it day in and day out. We actually sit down and determine who is going to say the connection, teaching point etc...
In all areas, we discuss who is working with a small group, conferencing or facilitating.
We also must be flexible. Time is precious, but sometimes she will need more time or vice versa and I just have to know I'll get more time later.
"Sharing the Stage" is important for the students. They need to see you both engaged in all content areas, and it's powerful for you as the teacher to see the "whole" child's strengths and weaknesses in all content areas.
Hope this helps,