Coplanning: What Is It?

When teachers coplan, they discuss and develop curriculum collaboratively. Please view the Coplanning Session Structure tool for a clearer picture of the coplanning process.

Coplanning between the cooperating teacher (CT) and teacher candidate (TC) may occur in person or virtually. Some platforms to use for virtual coplanning include:

Leadership Roles in Coplanning

The leadership roles in coplanning may shift during the clinical practice experience, depending on the stage in which the TC finds themselves. We can use the gradual release of responsibility model as an example:

Clinical Practice I:

  1. In the beginning, CT is sharing their planning process, thinking aloud, and sharing lesson plans and resources with the TC.

  2. As the placement progresses, CT includes TC in the planning process for targeted lessons.

Clinical Practice II & III:

  1. In the beginning, the CT assumes more responsibility, allowing feedback and suggestions from the TC.

  2. As the placement progresses, the CT affords more responsibility to the TC for leading the coplanning sessions.

  3. Toward the end of the clinical practice experience, TCs are assuming most of the responsibility for leading coplanning sessions.

Regardless of the leadership role, both teachers are involved in planning through collaborative discussions, sharing drafts of plans for feedback, and sharing resources.

Specific Structure of Coplanning Delineated by Quarter

Big picture
  • Note: These timelines are subjective and ultimately based upon the CT’s judgment and TC's needs.

Coplanning in Action: What Does a Coplanning Session Look Like?

You can review the Coplanning Tool or view the following video for more information about what an effective coplanning session looks like!

CSU-Stanislaus Co-Planning PD
* Please note, the coplanning tool linked to in this newsletter is a more recent version than the tool featured in this video.

Coplanning Considerations:

  1. Scheduling: Determine a regularly scheduled time for coplanning. Allot longer coplanning time when planning big picture and shorter coplanning sessions when sharing individual planning tasks for feedback.

  2. Structure: Implementing a consistent structure to coplanning sessions can streamline the process and ensure efficiency and that each coteacher understands their role.

  3. Roles & Responsibilities: Reflect on coteacher strengths and challenges as planners and determine regular roles and responsibilities based on this personal inventory. For example, one coteacher might be responsible for the creation of handouts, another coteacher might be responsible for creating the bell work activity.

  4. Create To-Do Lists: Make a list of who is doing what with clear deadlines for feedback and implementation. Time can be wasted on the logistics of coplanning, and to-do-lists can make each role and next steps clear.

* Please visit 10 Tips for Coplanning Efficiently for more tips and insight.

Additional Resources

Here we provide resources for in-person and virtual coplanning.


  • Coteaching in a Virtual Environment: In this Screencast video, Megan Guise, Single Subject Faculty at Cal Poly, provides recommendations for the coteaching process, including coplanning, coinstructing, and coassessing, in the virtual teaching and learning environment.

  • CSU-Stanislaus Co-Planning PD: This video provides more information on what effective coplaning sessions look like and is shown above.

Online Articles and Documents

Blog Posts