Co-teaching can be a very productive, efficient learning process for both students and teachers. The article entitled “50 Ways to Keep Your Co-Teacher: Strategies for Before, During, and After Co-Teaching” by Wendy W. Murawski (2008) is a great article that informs us of how to work with other teachers in the classroom in order to provide a better learning environment for the students. This article informs us of 50 ways that will help us continue having good relationships with our co-teachers before, during and after the co-teaching process.
Murawski (2013) gives some great examples of how to make the co-teaching relationships last before, during and after the co-teaching experience. Before the experience, a teacher should volunteer to co-teach as this assures them that they can work with someone they prefer to work with; they should talk to their boss about materials and resources that will help them; they should take every opportunity to be trained by going to workshops and reading; they should be flexible enough to know when to make a new plan; they should inform the parents of the co-teaching experience their children are going to have; they should plan and establish rules with the other teacher. These are just a few things that the teacher can do in order to get prepared for the co-teaching experience.
Murawski (2013) also give specific ideas for the things to do during the co-teaching process. These include working directly with the other teacher to distinguish whether you have “adequately addressed all learners in the class” (p. 43); show the students that both teachers are equal; learn to walk around the room while the other is teaching in order to show involvement in what is going on; learn to take breaks when needed (both for you and for the students); create a positive and collaborative learning environment for the students; learn to keep things interesting and exciting; learn to ensure success and help the students pay attention in ways that will help them; and understand that it is always okay to change your approach if something is not working.
Finally, after the co-teaching experience, it is important to collect data, evaluate, and share the success. Collecting data and evaluating the process will help you and others understand the benefits of co-teaching and will help you do an even better job next time. Sharing the success makes you, the other teacher and the students feel good about what you have accomplished. Co-teaching can be a very rewarding process for the students and the teachers, but one must know how to work with the other to make it successful.
Murawski, W. W. (2008). 50 ways to keep your co-teacher: Strategies for before, during, and after co-teaching. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(4), 40-48.