Each teacher instructs half the students. The two teachers are addressing the same instructional material and presenting the material using the same teaching strategy. The greatest benefit to this approach is the reduced student-to-teacher ratio.
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE PARALLEL INSTRUCTION
- Low student-to-teacher ratio is desired
- There is a need for heightened participation
- You have students that are more focused when they are separated from other students
EXAMPLES OF PARALLEL INSTRUCTION
- English: Students read Chapter 4 of To Kill a Mockingbird for homework. The class is divided in half and each coteacher facilitates a discussion on Chapter 4 with half of the class.
- Math: When introducing a new geometry unit, teachers divide the class in half and each provide the same instruction lowering the student-to-teacher ratio
- Science: In order to prepare students for an upcoming lab and how to use the equipment, the class is divided in half and each coteacher models to his/her half of the class how to use the equipment
- Social Science: Both teachers are leading a “question and answer” discussion on specific current events and the impact they have on the economy
WHAT YOU WILL START TO SEE
- Students will be more attentive
- Students will begin to participate when they may not have in a large group
- You will develop a strong connection, rapport with the smaller group
- Students who have not been academic superstars begin to rise to the top and take academic risks
PARALLEL INSTRUCTION CHALLENGES
Coteachers often mention that physical space often limits the implementation of parallel instruction. Be creative! Utilizing other spaces on campus (e.g., library, auditorium, outside) may reduce the challenges and allow for students to see the gains of a lower student-to-teacher ratio.