Co-Teaching Week 2

Myths vs. Realities

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Myth 1 - Teacher Candidates won't learn to teach if not left to sink or swim on their own.

Reality: Teacher candidates in co-teaching settings are supported in their efforts to

becoming a licensed professional. The cooperating teacher models and assists as the teacher candidate acquires the knowledge and skills of teaching. This is in sharp contrast to the sink or swim model that assumes the teacher candidate must learn how to become a teacher on their own. When the Teacher Candidate makes a mistake, there will be someone their to support, give feedback, and coach them to success.

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Myth 2 - Co-teaching inhibits a teacher candidate’s ability to develop classroom management skills

Reality: Rather than having to manage a classroom all alone, a Teacher Candidate has the

support necessary to implement effective classroom management strategies. As the skills are gained, the teacher candidate takes the lead to make sure he/she can manage the classroom without support.

Myth 3 – Teacher Candidates don’t get enough solo teaching time with co-teaching

Reality: Teacher candidates must have opportunities to teach all alone. The amount of time a candidate is left totally alone varies and is based on their skills in managing a classroom. It is important that the teacher candidate demonstrate that they can handle a classroom all by themselves.

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Myth 4 - It takes too much time to co-plan

Reality: It may take more time to co-plan in the early stages of Co-Teaching. In order to co-teach effectively, the Cooperating Teacher and Teacher Candidate must have shared planning time. However, the benefits of co-planning are huge. Teacher Candidates get a much deeper understanding of the entire curriculum through co-planning and co-taught lessons lead to increased academic performance of P-12 students making the time spent in planning beneficial for all.

Myth 5 - Teacher Candidates will never have full responsibility of the classroom

Reality: For a period of time, each teacher candidate will lead the planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction in a co-taught classroom. Candidates will also be responsible for directing other adults, including the cooperating teacher, thus learning the skills necessary for effectively managing the human resources in a classroom.

Myth 6 - Co-Teaching does not work at a secondary level

Reality: Co-teaching strategies have been used successfully at all grade levels and in every content area. Co-teaching can be especially effective at the secondary level as teachers are dealing with larger class sizes and greater diversity of students. Co-Teaching has also seen success in college courses.

Myth 7 - Teacher candidates don’t have to write lesson plans for co-teaching because they co-plan

REALITY: Co-planning takes place before formal lesson plans are written. Once a cooperating teacher and a teacher candidate co-plan, the candidate takes the information and writes up lesson plans, which will be reviewed by the cooperating teacher.

Myth 8 - The University Supervisor should only observe a Teacher Candidate when they are teaching solo

Reality: When a supervisor observes a Teacher Candidate co-teaching with a Cooperating Teacher, they focus the observation on what the candidate is doing. If the candidate is leading a small group, it may be helpful to move closer to that group to observe him/her. If the Teacher Candidate is teaming with his/her Cooperating Teacher, the focus will be on the candidate's teaching skills, ability to collaborate with the Cooperating Teacher, management skills, and organization.

TPE of the Week - TPE 10 - Instructional Time

This TPE is often a very challenging one for teacher candidates and new teachers, using time most efficiently is a learned skill.


Candidates should allocate instructional time to maximize student achievement. Procedures and routines should be established to manage transitions and maximize time on task. Based on reflection and consultation, candidates should adjust instructional time.


Bree Gage

Co-Teaching Coordinator

CSU Bakersfield