Try this in your classroom!
Lauren, Leah, Claire & Kristen
One way you can improve communication in your classroom is to set aside planning time prior to your collaborative lesson. Co-teachers are setting an example for their students, so teachers need to be in sync with each other and on the same page. The way teachers interact sets the tone for the classroom - if teachers are interrupting each other or bickering in front of their students, the students will do the same.
Classroom Management & Environment
It's important that the students feel comfortable in their learning environment.
Station teaching is a great way to reach all your students. With station teaching students receive small group instruction and each teacher is responsible for managing only half the class. This creates a positive learning environment because students receive much more individualized instruction and attention. Moreover, students have the ability to reach out to either teacher and as we all know - 2 heads are better than 1!
Familiarity with the curriculum (Goals & modification)
One way teachers can do this is by refreshing the curriculum for themselves before they teach. Teachers always need to be one step ahead of their students, prepared to answer any question that comes their way. Teachers can make notes on their lesson plans with definitions, etc. to be ready for the students. If your working in a collaborative classroom, you can take turns being the one who teaches and the one who answers specific questions (such as definitions, etc.)
Another important aspect of familiarity with the curriculum is being ready to modify the lesson. Teachers can only guess how well their students will pick up the curriculum, thus they need a plan to modify their lesson, whether it be slowing it down, or enriching their activities. In a collaborative classroom each teacher can be responsible for a modified lesson - then your ready for all your students.
Parallel teaching is a great way to cater to all your students' needs and learning styles. By using parallel teaching each teacher teaches the same material in a different way. Some students are visual learners, some auditory, and some kinesthetic. With parallel instruction you can switch teaching models half way through the lesson, thus the second part of the lesson is reinforcing what was just taught.
With the co-teaching model, 1 teach 1 assist, assessment becomes easier. The teacher serving the 'assist' role in the classroom can go around the room and individually ask students questions and look at their work. This allows for an informal way of assessing students.