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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,550
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,550
Senior Member

Old 04-11-2019, 04:03 PM
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I've always hated it/avoided it at all costs. Good thing you have the better attitude since you'll be doing it . I think it can work well in more affluent areas where the students with "disabilities" aren't very far behind. My dad works as a sped teacher in the wealthiest district in his state. The majority of students his school identifies would not even be on the radar for needing intervention at my school. It works really well for a lot of his students as they really just need support to stay on grade level. Those with true disabilities often have parents who are making up for what the school isn't providing - i.e. he has kids that literally go to a 1:1 Orton Gillingham certified tutor for 60-90 minutes every day after school.

At my school, we don't even really consider identifying students unless they are 2 or more years behind. I absolutely feel like my students need the specialized instruction outside of the classroom. We are almost always working on skills that are no longer being taught at grade level, and a significant portion of my day is spent on just teaching kids how to read in the first place. Most of my students need thousands if not millions of repetitions for each reading skill in order to master it. Co-teaching a main idea lesson with their gen ed teacher would do absolutely nothing for them.

Besides that, in every situation where I've seen co-teaching, the sped teacher is basically treated like an aide. The gen ed teacher is teaching while the sped teacher walks around and manages behavior, helps kids who raise their hand, etc. Maybe she gets to pull a small group to the side to help them with an assignment the teacher gives if she's lucky.

My district makes a big show of "moving toward co-teaching" every single year, and comes to the same conclusion every year that it's not going to work. I've always said if they ever truly did make me do it, I'd try to do small groups within the gen ed room as much as possible. "Station teaching" is one of the six methods of co-teaching. That way, both teachers are actually teaching, each can have some sort of control over her own station, and you can differentiate to teach to varying skill levels, so at least you can get some of the skills based instruction in that the lowest students need.

How many classes will you be in each day? I'd try to schedule things so that you're there for small group time as much as possible. I'd also meet with the gen ed teachers and establish expectations and what you both want things to look like so you're on the same page before it starts.
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