How to choose a Co-Teaching Model?

Teachers assigned co-teaching roles often lack co-teaching experience or training. Learning what works and what doesn’t often requires experience. Teachers cannot always choose who to teach with, which creates additional challenges as each person’s role may remain ambiguous both during the lesson planning phase and during instruction.

Fortunately, many of the available studies categorize different cooperative teaching models. There are six models:

  • One teaches, one observes: One teacher directly teaches students, and the other observes evidence of student learning.
  • One to teach, one to support: One teacher teaches students directly, and the other helps individual students as needed.
  • Parallel Teaching: The class is divided into two groups, and each teacher teaches the same information at the same time.
  • Station-Teaching: ​​Each teacher teaches specific content to different groups as they rotate between teachers.
  • Alternative Tuition: One teacher teaches most students and another teacher teaches a small number of students as needed.
  • Team Lessons: Two teachers teach students directly at the same time – sometimes referred to as “team lessons”. 

Teaching partners should consider the purpose and benefits of each model before deciding which model to use for a particular course or part of a course. Considering the benefits of each model should help teachers decide which model to use in a particular course.

6 Models of Co-Teaching: Advantages and Disadvantages

  1. One teaching, One Observing: As a supervisor, I see this model implemented with and without purpose. It takes time to develop a working relationship with another teacher. When relationships don’t work, this model pops up more often and often without purpose.

If one teacher is teaching students directly, the other should observe. Observing the data collected by teachers can help determine what classes to take next, which students need extra help, and what co-teaching model to use next to meet identified needs.

Advantages: Less collaboration time, less disruption, more targeted and targeted data collection.

Disadvantages: Attrition of teachers, may be used frequently due to lack of planning or lack of content knowledge or self-efficacy, may not be adequately used for intended purpose in the absence of targeted data collection.

  1. One teaching, one assisting: This model is usually implemented unilaterally, with the teacher playing the role of an assistant. This model is useful when teachers switch roles, both comfortably teaching content and mentoring students one-on-one. Professional and looking for signs that students are off track or struggling with content and sharing those signs with other teachers can mean the difference between a student’s success or failure in the course.

Advantages: Less distraction between teachers, more Focus on students to identify those in need.

Disadvantages: Lost teacher, often used due to lack of planning or lack of substantive knowledge or self-efficacy, can be used without focused groups because students are not fully utilizing their intended purpose who can Help with course design. 

  1. Parallel Teaching: I’ve seen parallel courses work well – it can be a great way to reduce the feel of a large class. By dividing students into two groups and teaching courses concurrently, more students can receive cohesive group instruction that research has shown helps with learning disabilities. Throughout the process, more students than large groups have the opportunity to ask questions.

This is also a great model when the content is extremely challenging, as it allows each teacher to really customize the lesson for each student in the group, To differentiate.

Advantages: Smaller class sizes, more time for students to fill gaps, easier classroom management

Disadvantages: Logistically difficult, joint planning requires more time, requires both teachers to have content expertise.

  1. Station teaching: On-site teaching is a way for each teacher to own a portion of the content and repeat that portion of the lesson with different groups of students during the same time period.

Advantages: Leverage each teacher’s strengths, smaller class sizes, well-developed lesson planning.

Disadvantages: More time to plan, needs both teachers to get the timing right.

  1. Alternative teaching: I’ve seen teachers use this patterns to teach a small group of students to accelerate their learning, catch up on missed content or fill in gaps in their understanding. The key is to find space where other students are not disturbed while this group class is going on and make sure students in the group don’t miss out on any new information.

Advantages: Gives students the opportunity to fill in class gaps and can help students who are chronically absent , focus resources on one target group of students.

Disadvantages: Need to double schedule time and content to avoid missing classes.

  1. Team Teaching: A true team teaching class is a good thing. Two teachers with complementary personalities provide benefits to all students in the classroom. Getting to this point requires years of experience, collaborative planning, and positive, professional relationships that are continually refined and improved. Supervisors and school leaders need to know that this model can be achieved by prioritizing teaching couples in building design.

Advantages: Leverage the expertise and teaching strategies of both teachers and put both teachers in the spotlight of the class.

Disadvantages: Often requires collaborative experience (though it can be done by a new pair of team teachers), sprawling program, and healthy working relationships.

About the article

Teachers assigned co-teaching roles often lack co-teaching experience or training. Learning what works and what doesn’t often requires experience. In this article, we discussed how to choose the perfect co-teaching model for better learning as well as teaching practices.

Jack Marque

Digital Marketer with over 15 years of experience. Certified Digital Marketer and Educator by Google, HubSpot, and many other companies. An ex-employee @uber and @zomato

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