Elements of Collaborative Teaching

Team Teaching for the Win!

Communication

Communication between co-teachers is a crucial aspect of collaborative teaching. Each teacher needs to have the same expectations for students, so that there is consistency in instruction. Communication is also necessary for planning lessons. Cooperating teachers need to communicate effectively within and outside the classroom.

Classroom Management and Environment

During team teaching, each teacher should participate in behavior management, but not overlap or be redundant in their roles. Since teachers take turns delivering instruction, whoever is not currently instructing should reinforce and support students with behavior difficulties or other struggles. In team teaching, each teacher contributes equally to creating a positive classroom environment.

Familiarity with Curriculum (Goals and Modifications)

For team teaching, each teacher needs to have expertise in one area of the curriculum, as the teachers trade off during instruction. For example, a special educator may focus on teaching reading and writing skills in a history class, where the general educator might focus on teaching the history curriculum. Cooperating teachers must utilize pre-planning techniques to align their goals. Teachers also cooperate to determine the necessary modifications and differentiation in the classroom.

Instruction

In team teaching, each teacher trades off during instruction. They may each teach different areas of the curriculum, or take turns teaching lessons regardless of specific content area, depending on where their expertise is. The teacher not currently delivering instruction still has an active role in the classroom and can work one-on-one with struggling students.

Assessment

Cooperating teachers need to work together to ensure that they are providing regular, consistent assessment and feedback. They should integrate both formal and informal assessment into the daily classroom routine. Both teachers need to have a role in conducting assessment.