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Team Teaching. Special Educational Needs. To get us started…. What are your experiences of team teaching? Was it a success? Would you try it again? What are your views on team teaching? Do you think it could help you, in your own classroom?. School Context.

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team teaching

Team Teaching

Special Educational Needs

to get us started
To get us started…..
  • What are your experiences of team teaching? Was it a success? Would you try it again?
  • What are your views on team teaching?
  • Do you think it could help you, in your own classroom?
school context
School Context
  • Bishop McEgan College, Macroom, Co. Cork
  • VEC mixed school with 120 pupils
  • DEIS school – JCSP, HSCL, project worker
  • Approximately 30% pupils have SEN
sen department
SEN Department


  • Set up department (3 teachers + Principal and Vice principal)
  • Weekly meetings
  • Began drafting SEN policy
  • Up skilling SEN department - SESS
successful sen department
Successful SEN department
  • Timetabling – Non Irish and Non French
  • The Team – “right people” – consistency
  • Planning – time to meet.
  • Support of whole staff, management, teachers, parents and outside agencies.

(Subject teachers, tutors, Guidance team, care team, pastoral care team, primary schools, Parents, HSCL, School Completion, NEPS, SENO, Enable Ireland, Speech & language therapist)

whole school approach
Whole school Approach
  • Up skilling all teachers with regard to SEN
  • Various presentations by SESS and SLSS

“Engaging the Reluctant Learner”, “The Road to Inclusion and Differentiation” Team Teaching is mentioned as an effective strategy.

whole school approach7
Whole school Approach….


  • Draft policy presented to staff.
  • Told we are entitled to DEIS
  • Presentations on DEIS and JCSP made to staff.
  • All subject departments up and running with regular meeting times.
  • SEN/ICT Partnership with Co Cork VEC
whole school approach8

Final draft of SEN policy accepted

DEIS and JCSP begins

Sign up to Co. Cork VEC team teaching pilot project.


JCSP Success

Team Teaching Success

DEIS planning – literacy & numeracy

Whole School Approach
team teaching9
Team Teaching

September 2007 – May 2008

One Team – Sarah & Máire

No previous experience of team teaching

TY English – 20 pupils, 9 pupils with SEN

RA ranging from 8:11 to 15+

types of team teaching
Types of Team teaching
  • Traditional Team Teaching – both teachers actively share the instruction of content and skills, both teachers accept equal responsibility for all pupils and both teachers are actively involved throughout the class.
  • Lead and support Teaching – one teacher leads the lesson assuming responsibility for teaching the content, the other teacher provides support and follow up activities.
  • Parallel Instruction – the class is divided into two groups and each teacher delivers the same content and skills/ Both teachers are performing the same tasks in parallel fashion.
  • Differentiated split-class team teaching – The class is divided into two groups according to a specified learning need. Each group is provided with activities to meet that specified need
getting started
Getting started…..
  • Planning – 2 day meeting in May as part of pilot.
  • Ground rules – discipline & behaviour, workload, correcting, meeting parents.
  • Schemes – rough plan of work for year.
  • 2/3 weeks lesson plan in detail.
up and running
Up and running….
  • Weekly meeting time.
  • Keep principal and staff informed – staff meetings.
  • Wider support – other teams to share difficulties, successful methodologies etc.
methodologies more successful more frequent
Methodologies – More successful!! More frequent!!
  • Experiential
  • Jigsaw – character wheels
  • Group/pairwork
  • Chalk & Talk
  • Higher Order questioning
  • Drama games
  • Roleplay
  • Freeze Frames
the challenges
The Challenges
  • Time!!!
  • Teachers/Class being labelled.
  • Picking a team that works!
  • Getting used to another teacher in your class.
  • Altering your personal approach.
  • Evaluation – how will we know it works?
  • Is the child whose Resources hours “pay” for team teaching benefiting as much as they would from one on one support!!!
the benefits
The Benefits

For Students:

  • Better teaching and learning.
  • Improved participation, self esteem, group dynamic, written work.
  • Improved class test results.
  • Less distractions due to improved discipline.
  • Improved attendance.
  • Overall attitude to class more positive – they are enjoying the innovation.
  • Better teacher/student relationships.
  • Reaching the child who doesn’t qualify for learning support! They can now benefit from extra support!
the benefits19
The Benefits….

For Teachers:

  • Improved teaching and learning
  • Less correcting
  • Less Stress
  • More Support
  • Greater sense of achievement
  • Opportunity to learn new methodologies
  • Less time spent on discipline - instant gratification/less boredom/two sets of eyes.
  • Trying something different!!!
evaluate how do we know it s working
Evaluate – how do we know it’s working!
  • Tracking results, attendance, discipline - red/yellow cards. Comparing with similar group not in receipt of team teaching.
  • Student Questionnaire/feedback – 100% enjoying English, 15/17 see two teachers as a benefit.
in their own words
In their own words….
  • Advantages

“ You have more help if you get stuck”, “more help”, “learn more”, “getting more work done”, “they pay more attention to us”, “can get help faster”, “have better chance of getting a question answered, easier, help with the homework”, “less messing in the class”, “more strict so more work done”, “one teacher can help so the class isn’t disturbed”

  • Disadvantages

“more giving out”, “if you get in trouble you have two teachers giving out”, “can’t mess”, “you get caught easier if you’re messing”.

7 pupils said there were no disadvantages

group work
Group Work
  • What opportunities can you see in your school for developing team teaching?
  • What challenges would there be to setting up team teaching?