Planning an effective co-teaching program, as described by Bauwens & Hourcade (1994), should include The "Five P's of Co-Teaching":
- Problem Solving
Presence in the classroom is treated as a part of each teacher's daily schedule; the time commitment extends to both.
Program planning at regular designated planning times is essential at the course, unit, and lesson levels so that student concerns and other problems can be anticipated. Time should be set aside for teams to make instructional plans, including decisions about which teachers will participate in co-teaching and which courses will be best served by co-teaching teams.
Presentation planning should consider both teachers' skills and expertise and ensure that both teachers are engaged in the teaching process. A variety of models can be utilized in working together to deliver content. Teachers may share time in front of the class by dividing lecture time, interjecting examples for one another, or having one teacher provide a visual representation of the material while the other teacher lectures. Or teachers might divide teaching time by taking turns monitoring the students in the classroom and assisting students who are struggling. Teachers should show respect for one another and utilize the talents and abilities of both to best serve the students in the classroom.
Teachers must meet often to process concerns they may have in the co-teaching relationship. Differences in teaching styles and philosophies must be discussed regularly in an environment in which such issues can be addressed openly with respect for differences.
Problem solving is critical to successful co-teaching. Teachers need to discuss concerns about specific students and alter teaching strategies and behavior plans accordingly. Solutions should be regularly evaluated and modified to meet teachers' and students' needs.
(Adapted from Bauwens & Hourcade, 1994, in Lenz & Deshler, 2004)
Bauwens, J., & Hourcade, J.J. (1995). Cooperative teaching: Rebuilding the schoolhouse for all students. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Lenz, K., Deschler, D. (2004). Teaching content to all: Evidence-based inclusive practices in middle and secondary schools. Boston, MA: Pearson.