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Old 07-18-2015, 04:43 AM
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As the reading specialist at my school, I co-teach in three classrooms. My principal also wanted co-teaching and inclusive practices to become more prominent at our school which is why we moved towards that model. In addition, when I am not co-teaching, I work with students in grades K-8 in small groups or individually using more of a pull-out method. That probably seems like a lot and it is. To give you more clarity, I co-taught in a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade rooms last year during the reading block. I was in each classroom twice a week. Although I wish I could have been in each room more for continuity, it was unrealistic as I still needed to find time in my schedule to work with students who needed pull-out in grades K-8. The best suggestions that I have for co-teaching are the following:

-Hold a book study with your administrator and co-teaching partners in advance of the school year. Discuss co-teaching in general, your hopes and concerns, etc.. For example, it was important for me to explain that I did not want to become an aide (we have plenty of them, and they are AMAZING). As a classroom teacher of 6 years and a reading specialist for several, it was important for me to feel like I was making the impact that I should as a reading specialist

-Find time to plan with your co-teacher each week. This is SO important. Otherwise your effectiveness decreases.

-For the sake of your schedule, try your best to schedule each class at similar times throughout the week. For example, I worked with second grade from 9:50-11:10 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

-Understand that you and your co-teacher will be successful only if you have an open and honest line of communication and respect each other's ideas as the professionals that you are.
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