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Supervising Co-Teaching Teams: Whose Line is it Anyway? Your name here Date, location, etc. Presentation Overview Introduction to national assistance centers and the Access Center Introduction to co-teaching Planning for & scheduling co-teaching Suggestions for administrators

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presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction to national assistance centers and the Access Center
  • Introduction to co-teaching
  • Planning for & scheduling co-teaching
  • Suggestions for administrators
  • Observing & evaluating co-teaching teams
  • Co-teaching Rating Scale (CtRS)
  • Case study
access center mission
Access Center Mission

To provide technical assistance that strengthens state and local capacity to help students with disabilities learn through general education curriculum.

what is access
What is “Access”?
  • Active learning of the content and skills that define the general education curriculum
  • Supports to Improve Access
      • Instructional and Learning Goals
      • Research-based Instructional Methods and Practices
      • Research-based Materials and Media
      • Research-based Supports and Accommodations
      • Appropriate Assessment and Documentation
where to begin building bridges
Where to begin: building bridges

Walking across the bridge, leaving the familiar ground of working alone, is the first act of collaboration. All parties are on neutral territory, with the security of knowing they can return to land better, stronger and changed. And perhaps they will return to the same side of the bridge even though they started from opposite sides.

collaboration won t just happen
Collaboration won’t just happen
  • Deliberate
  • Structured
  • Systematic
  • Ongoing
why won t it just happen
Why won’t it just happen?
  • Some findings…
    • General educators begin with the curriculum first and use assessment to determine what was learned
    • Special educators begin with assessment first and design instruction to repair gaps in learning
    • No wonder we are talking different languages
how can we work with this
How can we work with this?
  • Provide purpose and structure
  • Create baseline and a plan for scaffolded change
  • Provide a visual map to guide discussion
  • Keep discussions objective and data driven
  • Allow many issues to be put on the table for consideration
what we have learned
What we have learned…

General educators are more receptive to change when they have background knowledge and a chance to participate in the decisions rather than being given a special education mandate to follow.

what we have learned10
What we have learned…
  • Parent concerns decrease when special and general education practices are aligned, data is shared and is used to identify how students are progressing in the general education domain first.
aligning practices through co teaching
Aligning Practices through Co-Teaching
  • Co-teaching is becoming one of the fastest growing inclusive school practices
  • Despite this rapid increase in popularity, co-teaching remains one of the most commonly misunderstood practices in education
defining co teaching
Defining Co-Teaching
  • Co-teaching occurs when two or more professionals jointly deliver substantive instruction to a diverse, or blended, group of students in a single physical space (Cook and Friend, 1995, pg 1)
three major models
Three Major Models
  • Consultant model
  • Coaching Model
  • Collaborative (or Teaming) Model
most common approaches
Most Common Approaches
  • One Teaching, One Drifting
  • Parallel Teaching
  • Station Teaching
  • Alternative Teaching
  • Team Teaching

One Teaching, One Drifting

  • One teacher plans and instructs, one teacher provides adaptations and other support as needed
  • Requires very little joint planning
  • Should be used sparingly
    • Can result in one teacher, most often the general educator taking the lead role the majority of the time
    • Can also be distracting to students, who may also become dependent on drifting teacher
parallel teaching
Parallel Teaching
  • Teachers share responsibility for planning and instruction
  • Class is split into heterogeneous groups and each teacher instructs half on the same material
  • Content covered is the same, but methods of delivery may differ
  • Both teachers need to be proficient in the content being taught
station teaching
Station Teaching
  • Teachers divide the responsibility of planning and instruction
  • Students rotated on pre-determined schedule through stations
  • Teachers repeat instruction to each group that comes through--though delivery may vary according to student needs
  • Approach can be used even if teachers have very different pedagogical approaches
  • Each teacher instructs every student
alternative teaching
Alternative Teaching
  • Teachers divide responsibility for planning and instruction
  • The majority of students remain in large group setting, while some students work in a small group for pre-teaching, enrichment, re-teaching or other individualized instruction
  • Allows for highly individualized instruction to be offered
  • Teachers should be careful that the same students are not always pulled aside
team teaching
Team Teaching
  • Teachers share responsibility for planning and instruction
  • Teachers work as a team to introduce new content, work on developing skills, clarify information, and facilitate learning and classroom management
  • This requires the most mutual trust and respect between teachers, and that they are able to mesh their teaching styles
benefits of collaboration
Benefits of collaboration
  • Shared responsibility for educating all students
  • Shared understanding and use of common assessment data
  • Supporting ownership for programming and interventions
  • Creating common understanding
  • Data driven problem solving
sounds good now what

Sounds good…now what?

Getting co-teaching started at the building and classroom levels

  • Teachers need to volunteer and agree to co-teach
  • Gradual implementation
  • Attention needs to be given to setting changes that an inclusive classroom may invoke
  • Goals and support services need to reflect the new learning experiences that students will receive in general education classes
not an all or nothing approach
Not an all-or-nothing approach
  • Teachers do not have to commit to only one approach of co-teaching
  • Teachers do not have to only co-teach
  • Co-teaching is not the only option for serving students
  • Some students with disabilities may be in a co-taught classroom for only part of the day
limitations and potential drawbacks
Limitations and Potential Drawbacks
  • Not easy to maintain in schools
  • May not be enough special education teachers to go around
  • Co-taught classrooms may be disproportionally filled with SWDs
  • Special educators can function as more of a teaching assistant than a co-educator
benefits of collaboration27
Benefits of collaboration
  • Shared responsibility for educating all students
  • Shared understanding and use of common assessment data
  • Supporting ownership for programming and interventions
  • Creating common understanding
  • Data driven problem solving
action steps
Action Steps
  • Administrators should provide information, encourage proactive preparation from teachers
  • Assess level of collaboration currently in place
  • Pre-plan
  • Implement slowly…baby steps!
planning and scheduling
Planning and Scheduling
  • Requires thoughtful planning time
  • Administrative support is essential
  • Here is where the alignment of special and general education occurs, as well as the alignment of assessment and instruction
  • School-level scheduling should be done after student needs have been identified
perspective matters
Perspective Matters

Depending on the orientation of supervisor, the same co-taught lesson could be viewed in diametrically opposing ways

The two teachers looked at each other in disbelief. One was a tenured secondary English teacher who had taught for 6 years in this large middle-class, suburban high school. The other was a first year special education teacher who recently received her master’s degree. They had been co-teaching a ninth grade English class for 4 months, and although the beginning weeks were a bit overwhelming, they were rather proud of their cooperative and respectful relationship. They had been co-planning, co-grading, and co-teaching, and they were certain the class would go well. The students responded to the co-teachers’ combined efforts, and both social and academic progress was noted for all students in the class.

The teachers were looking at their observation reports. The special education and English chairpersons had decided to observe the co-teaching class at the same time. The special education teacher read her report: it was glowing. Her supervisor recognized the adaptations that were made in the materials, saw that she worked with individual students, observed her contribution to the teaching of the mini-lesson, noted the parity she enjoyed with her co-teacher, and acknowledged the acceptance and respect of her students.

The general education teacher held back tears as she read her write-up. How could this be? She had never received an unsatisfactory observation, and prided herself on her competency in the classroom. Her supervisors had repeatedly recognized her skills as a teacher. She read through the comments—her chairperson thought there hadn’t been enough time spent developing the content of the lesson and that the student group work detracted from more formal delivery of content. The chair also felt the general education teacher had relinquished too much of her role as content specialist to the special education teacher and noted there was too much interaction between the co-teachers.

district level planning issues
District Level Planning Issues
  • District-level planning helps reduce duplication of effort
  • Facilitates communication within the system and in the larger community
  • Fosters better cooperation and collaboration among schools
district level planning task force
District Level Planning Task Force
  • Administrators
  • Teacher leaders
  • Related services professionals
  • Families
  • Other appropriate community agency representatives
district level planning task force cont d
District Level Planning Task Force (cont’d)
  • District level planning ensures that potential consequences are considered before new programs and services are implemented.
    • The effect of one seventh grade team initiating co-teaching on the other 7th grade teams
    • How will it impact the elementary and high school programs?
building level planning issues
Building-Level Planning Issues
  • Communicate Administrative Support and Leadership
  • Select Capable and Willing Participants
  • Provide Ongoing Staff Development
  • Establish Balanced Classroom Rosters
  • Provide Weekly Scheduled Co-Planning Time
  • Develop Appropriate IEPs
communicate administrative support and leadership
Communicate Administrative Support and Leadership
  • Principal support, understanding, and involvement serve as pivotal factors in lasting success (Barth, 1990; Pugach & Johnson, 1990)
  • Effective principals provide vision, recognition, and encouragement during the implementation process (Adams & Cessna, 1991; Barth, 1990; Chalfant & Pysh, 1989; Fullan, 1993)
select capable and willing participants
Select Capable and Willing Participants
  • Teachers viewed as leaders by their colleagues
  • Willing to make the commitment of additional time and effort
  • Select capable volunteers for co-teaching assignments
  • Both members of the team must be capable contributors
  • Participants should make a good faith commitment to work together for a minimum of 2 years
provide ongoing staff development
Provide Ongoing Staff Development
  • 3-5 days of preparation before classroom implementation
  • Sessions should provide instruction related to
    • Effective co-planning
    • Co-teaching models
    • Student scheduling
    • Instructional considerations
    • Ongoing performance assessment
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Time for partners to discuss concerns, solve problems, and formulate initial implementation plans
provide ongoing staff development41
Provide Ongoing Staff Development
  • Ongoing skill development and support should be provided
  • Participation in college courses, summer workshops, and professional conferences should be encouraged
  • Site visits to model programs
  • Monthly problem-solving meetings with other co-teachers
  • Building administrators should participate with co-teaching teams in staff development events
establish balanced classroom rosters
Establish Balanced Classroom Rosters
  • School teams need to carefully assess student needs and available resources
  • In a class of 25 students, no more that 6 class members should have identified disabilities in the mild to moderate range
provide weekly scheduled co planning time
Provide Weekly ScheduledCo-Planning Time
  • Co-teaching teams should have a minimum of one scheduled planning period (45-60 minutes) per week
  • 10 minutes per lesson – for experienced teams (Dieker, 2001)
develop appropriate ieps
Develop Appropriate IEPs
  • Attention needs to be given to setting changes that an inclusive classroom may invoke
  • Goals and support services need to reflect the new learning experiences that students will receive in general education classes
critical components for evaluating a co taught classroom
Critical Components for Evaluating a Co-Taught Classroom
  • What makes a good lesson?
  • Are there components of a co-taught lesson that require unique perspectives in order to be evaluated effectively?
what makes a good lesson
What Makes a Good Lesson?
  • Lessons are student-centered
  • Recognition of diverse learning styles of students
  • Questions tap high-order thinking
  • Engagement of students and evidence that students are not on task
a good lesson
A Good Lesson…
  • Makes use of materials that are useful and available
  • Pays attention to motivation
  • Incorporates awareness of transitions
  • Contains aims that are open-ended
a good lesson49
A Good Lesson…
  • Summation at the middle and end of the lesson
  • Activities that apply the information
  • Connections made to students’ experiences
  • Positive student-teacher relationships
a good lesson50
A Good Lesson…
  • Appropriate use of technology
  • Adherence to state standards
  • Reinforcement of previously learned and new material
  • Positive teacher-teacher relationships
Are there components of a co-taught lesson that require unique perspectives in order to be evaluated effectively?
  • Roles of the teachers
    • The supervisor is to look at the roles of co-teachers, such as parallel teaching, one teaching one drifting, station teaching, and alternative team teaching. (Vaughn, Schumm, & Arguelles, 1997)
Are there components of a co-taught lesson that require unique perspectives in order to be evaluated effectively?
  • Instructional strategies
    • How are strategies incorporated into a lesson? Evidence of co-planning needs to be easily seen through the strategies and modification integrated throughout the lesson.
Are there components of a co-taught lesson that require unique perspectives in order to be evaluated effectively?
  • Assessment processes
    • Is there a continuous and conscious effort to assess student achievement? Is there evidence of reflective questioning?
questions to consider when observing co teaching teams
Questions to Consider When Observing Co-teaching Teams
  • Are co-teachers to be treated as one and receive a single observation report?
  • Could the special education supervisor comment on the general educator’s performance, even if the focus of the observation was the special educator?
  • Should the general and special education supervisors observe the same lesson?
questions to consider
Questions to Consider
  • Should supervisors write one observation? Are there different criteria of performance for the general and special education teachers?
  • What criteria should be used to judge teacher performance in a co-taught class or program?
  • What roles do teachers perform? Are these roles meaningful?
questions to consider56
Questions to Consider
  • How often and for how long are teachers interacting with each other?
  • Who is initiating and ending these interactions?
  • What is the nature of these interactions (e.g., cooperative, reciprocal, supportive, complementary, individualistic)
questions to consider57
Questions to Consider
  • Which students are the recipients of these interactions?
  • What are the outcomes of these interactions for teachers and their students?
  • What factors appear to promote and limit these interactions?
  • How are these components incorporated into an effective observation tool?
characteristics of an observation tool
Characteristics of an Observation Tool
  • Specific questions may be chosen that seem most appropriate so as not to overwhelm the supervisor
  • Importance of the pre-observation conference and the need for a mutual decision made by the supervisor and the teacher as to what questions in each area would be used.
  • Discussions in the post-lesson debriefing would lead to the choice of questions for future observations
  • Need for examples of modifications for materials, and types of assessments that could be incorporated easily within daily lessons.
characteristics of an observation tool60
Characteristics of an Observation Tool
  • Helped supervisors focus on essential components of co-teaching
  • Helped supervisors structure the writing of their observation reports.
  • Sharing the guide with the co-teachers in the pre-observation meeting fostered a positive and trusting relationship between supervisors and co-teachers b/c expectations were clearly defined.
co teaching rating scale
Co-teaching Rating Scale
  • Informal instrument for co-teachers and their supervisors
  • Examines the effectiveness of co-teaching classrooms.
  • Helps focus on areas that need improvement, and which components contribute to success.
  • Results can be used to develop co-teaching model
  • Can be modified for use as part of supervisory tool for examining effectiveness on co-teaching
co teaching rating scale63
Co-teaching Rating Scale
  • 3 Forms
    • one for special educator
    • one for general educator
    • one for supervisors
        • identifies a profile of strengths and weaknesses.
        • focuses on components of co-teaching relationship,
        • determines the effectiveness of classroom practices,
        • facilitates the formulation of goals for improving practice,
        • refines strategies to improve and enhance programs.
interviews and surveys
Interviews and Surveys
  • Educators’ responses to surveys can provide insight into strengths and gaps in program
  • Can be Lichert type format
  • Or qualitative, open-ended
lichert type
Lichert Type
  • I prefer to work in a cooperative teaching team.
  • I believe that students improve educationally and socially when they are taught by a cooperative teaching team.
  • I feel that our cooperative teaching team shares responsibility for all activities.
  • I feel uncomfortable having another adult in the classroom
lichert cont d
Lichert (cont’d)
  • I find it easy to communicate with my cooperative teaching partner.
  • I perform a subordinate role in our cooperative teaching team.
  • I feel that I have more work as a result of working in a cooperative teaching team.
open ended
  • How do you feel about working in a cooperative teaching team?
  • What factors contribute to the success of your cooperative teaching team?
  • What problems has your cooperative teaching team encountered?
  • What support, resources, and training have been most helpful? Least helpful?
open ended cont d
Open-Ended (cont’d)
  • How has your cooperative teaching team affected your students?
  • How do our students’ families and other professionals feel about your cooperative teaching team?
  • Has working in a cooperative team changed your roles? If so, in what ways?
  • What school wide and district wide policies have aided or hindered your cooperative teaching team?
best practices checklist
Best Practices Checklist
  • Allows for self-evaluation on various dimensions of collaborative efforts
  • Measures overall program quality
  • Can be completed individually or as a co-teaching team
for example
For example…
  • We blend each other’s abilities, values, preferences, teaching styles, educational philosophies, and cultural perspectives.
  • We discuss and agree on our program’s objectives, curricula, assessment, teaching, and classroom management techniques, classroom schedules, and grading criteria.
  • We employ a range of cooperative teaching instructional arrangements based on the lesson’s goals, the type of the material to be taught, and the needs of students.
for example cont d
For example… (cont’d)
  • We vary our roles and share the workload to that all team members perform meaningful activities that are recognized by others.
  • We have sufficient time to communicate, assess the effectiveness of our program, and revise the program.
  • We receive the planning time and administrative support to work successfully.
  • We address all of our differences immediately and directly.

These data can be analyzed to identify program strengths, educators’ concerns about their cooperative teaching teams and possible solutions to these concerns surrounding:

Attitudes about working in cooperative teaching teams
  • Satisfaction with their roles working in cooperative teaching teams
  • Success at working in cooperative teaching teams
  • Observations about the factors that contribute to the success of their cooperative teaching teams
Concerns about working in cooperative teaching teams
  • Beliefs about the effect of their collaborative team on their students’ families and themselves
  • Satisfaction with and needs in terms of resources, planning time, support from others, and training
  • Satisfaction with school wide and district wide cooperative teaching policies and practices
  • Teachers and administrators should evaluate co-teaching situations at least once yearly
  • The rule that assessment informs instruction should apply to co-teaching as well—as co-teachers continue to assess their situation, they must ensure that they are improving their instruction to best meet students’ needs in an inclusive classroom.
geneseo central school district
Geneseo Central School District
  • Rural
  • Western New York State
Elementary–special and general education teacher in a heterogeneous classroom
  • Middle school–special ed. teacher at each grade level/also teacher assistant for 6th
  • 1/3 of students with IEP’s–Special Ed. teacher provides resources as a preventive measure for those students who are not classified
  • Student/teacher ratio lowered
  • Students often have services provided in classroom rather than being pulled out
middle school
Middle School
  • Follows students with greater academic needs through general ed. classes
  • Teacher assistant follows other students
  • Teachers participate in advisory groups, grade level team meetings, and study groups to facilitate communications with peers
evaluation of the co teaching program
Evaluation of the Co-teaching Program
  • Goals and objectives to be evaluated
  • Evaluation questions and methods addressing the objectives
  • Parent Survey Protocol
  • Results
evaluation aided in
Evaluation Aided In:
  • Assisting administrators in achieving equilibrium with the reform
  • Providing a vehicle for monitoring program success
  • Establishing structure for teachers to explore alternative approaches to teaching
  • Allowing students new access to their peers in the general education curriculum
Essential Ingredients for Successful Collaboration – From the Eyes of the Practitioner to the Ears of the Administrator
involve the administrator from the beginning
Involve the Administrator from the Beginning
  • Share long and short term implementation strategies
  • Share research base supporting co-teaching
  • Share anticipated need for resources
involving the administrator
Involving the administrator
  • Develop an “information sharing community” or “community of practice”
  • Determine the most effective methods of communication between teams and administrators
  • Emphasize the importance of pre-observation conferences
  • Incorporate the co-teaching initiative into the team’s annual professional growth plan.
involving the administrator89
Involving the administrator
  • Set specific times for observation.
  • Encourage students to talk with the administrator about the benefits they see form learning in collaborative classrooms.
  • Involve parents.
  • Encourage advice and feedback on your performance from the administrators, accept it graciously, and use it.
involving the administrator90
Involving the administrator
  • Inform administrators of any problems or controversies related to co-teaching efforts
      • Teachers
      • Support staff
      • Parents
      • Students
suggestions for success
Suggestions for success
  • Accept responsibility if a mistake results from your actions
  • Videotape the class and share particularly interesting segments with the administrator
  • Highlight student progress through data
suggestions for success92
Suggestions for success
  • Volunteer the administrator (with prior permission) to speak or serve as a guest panelist in graduate classes
  • Co-author articles for publication
  • Attend professional conferences together
suggestions for success93
Suggestions for success
  • Immediately deal with any sense of waning support
  • Let the school be on the circuit of site visits for teams learning about co-teaching.
  • Spread the word about the successes
  • Gately, Susan E., and Frank J. Gately, J. 2001. Understanding Co-teaching Components. Teaching Exceptional Children. Mar/Apr: 40-47
  • Rea, Patricia Jordan. 2005. Engage Your Administrator in Your Collaboration Initiative. Intervention in School and Clinic. 40, 5, 312-316.
  • Salend, S.J., Gordon, J., and Lopez-Vona, K. 2002. Evaluating Cooperative Teaching Teams. Intervention in School and Clinic. 37, (4), 195-200.
  • Wischnowski, M.W.; Salmon, S.J.; Eaton, K. 2004. Evaluating Co-teaching as a Means for Successful Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in a Rural District. Rural Special Education Quarterly. Summer, 23, 3, 3-14.
  • Wilson, Gloria Lodato. (2005) This Doesn’t Look Familiar! Intervention in School and Clinic, 40(5), 271-275.
The Access Center:

Improving Outcomes for All Students K-8American Institutes for Research1000 Thomas Jefferson St. NW Washington, DC 20007