Brooke Brown— Would you please share with me some advice and or thoughts about your co-teaching experience - vs. - departmentalized teaching? (From Wanda Lankford)Dear Wanda,
Co-teaching is like a marriage and school is your home. Two different people are taken from their own classroom and have to learn how to productively co-exist together. Classrooms function like a family. Sometimes the children do the “ask mom, ask dad” thing, and if they don’t get the answer they want they go to the other person. But we caught on to that tactic very quickly. :-) I found that the best part of co-teaching is getting to be with the children the entire day so you see how they function in the morning/afternoon and you see their strengths and weaknesses. I feel like I know each child more completely then I did last year when Vicky and I were departmentalized. And as a teacher in a co-teaching situation, you gain so much by having someone who you can always bounce ideas off of and always have constant support. It’s also a great opportunity to learn the ELA aspect of second grade. Just like children, the hands-on learning for me is so much more beneficial than just going to a day of training or reading a professional development book on these subjects. I am very fortunate to have a partner who has developed into a very dear friend. End result, the children see our friendship with one another and that helps set the tone for our classroom. I feel co-teaching is a win/win situation when the mix of the two teachers is right.