The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 2 - Page 49



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Teaming. Team teaching happens when both teachers share the responsibility in planning, instruction, and assessment for the entire class (Cook & Friend, 1995; Isherwood & Barger-Anderson, 2008). During team teaching both teachers are actively teaching and taking turns in various roles during instruction. Team teaching is often used during role-play or while one teacher models a concept, such as note-taking or asking questions, while another speaks. Team teaching requires co-teachers to have a trust in each other and good communication (Cook & Friend, 1995). Team teaching also puts the responsibility of parent communication, classroom management, presenting information and assessment on both teachers (Embury & Kroeger, 2012). It furthermore allows for continued support of struggling students without singling them out through the traditional pull-out method or through leveled grouping in the classroom (Carty & Farrell, 2018). However, team teaching does not allow for more individualized instruction since all students are receiving the same content at the same time.

For co-teaching to be successful, establishing co-teaching relationships that promote trust and respect is vital (Magiera, et al, 2006). Co-teachers also need to establish the roles each teacher will take both in the classroom and for preparation of the lesson. Doing so will help to alleviate any burden one teacher may feel for the implementation of co-teaching. Administrators can also help the successful implementation of co-teaching by providing on-going professional development to the co-teachers partners.

It is also important for co-teaching pairs to co-plan together (Brendle & Piazza, 2017; Magiera, et al, 2006; Woodward & Talbert-Johnson, 2009). Co-planning is most effective when teachers are given the opportunity to have a shared planning time during the day. Teachers need to plan for the model of co-teaching being implemented, who will prepare the materials needed, how assessments will be administered, and the instructional strategies that will be used. During planning time, teachers can also reflect on the strategies that worked well or how to improve teaching for better implementation.

For many, the role of the reading teacher has changed to a more collaborative model with co-teaching. Depending on the content being taught, class, and needs of the student, models implemented in the classroom will and should vary. Both reading specialists and classroom teachers need to be flexible and reflective of their practices when using the co-teaching model. Ultimately, co-teaching allows teachers to adequately meet the diverse needs of the students in the classroom


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Nichole is a Reading and Math interventionist at the South Callaway Elementary School in Mokane, Missouri for grades 3rd-5th. She has 13 years teaching experience and completed her Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Arkansas in 2007. She completed her Master of Science in Education, Literacy in December 2019.