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Prekteach13
 
 
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Seeking advice from K gened teachers
Old 05-26-2019, 03:09 PM
 
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I致e taught preschool special education (self-contained) for 7 years now. Next school year I知 switching to be one of the sped resource teachers at my school and will have a K only caseload. I値l provide a mix of resource and coteaching.

I知 so used to running my own classroom that working with gened is a whole new world for me. What would you want to see from a sped teacher who is coming in your room for coteaching? What information is it important for a sped teacher to give you? What type of collaboration do you expect?

I壇 love your thoughts!


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Communication is Key
Old 05-26-2019, 04:36 PM
 
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Answering as a sub - I've seen the complete gamut from rooms were the sped and gen-ed teachers traded off, to ones where the sped teacher pulled small groups, to ones where she "floated" and helped individual students. When I'm filling in for either position, I just ask the other teacher right upfront what they're most comfortable with.

I think being able to talk to each other is extremely important. Meet before the year starts, and also have ongoing check-ins about what's working / not working throughout the year.

Share insights about the kids, too - especially things either of you notice about their strengths. That sometimes gets forgotten.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:41 PM
 
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Discuss with the other teachers their expectations and plans for co-teaching. How many teachers will you work with? If possible, weekly planning may keep everyone on track.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:30 AM
 
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Thanks! We have 4 K teachers and I値l be working primarily with 2 of them. We do have planning together so I知 hoping to plan 1-2/week with them.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:41 AM
 
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I agree with PP. Meet with Gen Ed teacher to discuss what co-teaching looks like, define your roles, discuss your expectations... Be clear.

Are you in the classroom the entire day or just for designated periods of time or for certain subjects? When you are not in the classroom, will there be aide support during those times?

If you truly share the classroom, you need a space within the classroom. That can be tricky especially if the classroom is small already. I got rid of my teacher's desk a long time ago so I could have more room. Do you want or need a desk? Is there room for another teacher's desk in the classroom? Would you be comfortable with a different set up-maybe share the teacher's desk? Will you have a table to work at and shelving to store materials? Do you have space to store your files in a filing cabinet? Will you have access to the computers?

Do you need to bring supplies like paper clips, markers...? In our district, the Gen Ed teacher has a classroom budget and the Spec Ed teacher has a separate budget which is usually a lot higher. Avoid resentments building later by being clear about which supplies can be shared.

Figure out where you will store your personal stuff-coat, pocketbook... If you have your own classroom, will you store your personal items there and bring materials you need for lessons with you or do you need storage space within the classroom?

If you can give each other access to each other's plans, that can be helpful-especially if you don't have a common planning time.

Before school starts, go over the IEP-review the accommodations and modifications together.

Discuss classroom management and what you will do with the students you share. Review any behavior plans for students so you are consistent.

Discuss how you will handle parent contact for the shared students throughout the year. Will one or both of you do it? Will you have a shared parent contact log? You might want to have a shared document that the two of you have access to so you can jot down anecdotal notes, observations, questions... This is helpful if you don't have common time where you can sit down to discuss things. If you can only meet once a week, you might observe something earlier in the week and forget to mention it when you finally get to meet. This keeps both of you on the same page-especially when conferencing with parents.

I hope this helps. It can be hard for some teachers to share their classrooms/students. You are not a glorified aide. Open communication is a must. Both of you have to keep in mind that respect goes both ways.


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Old 05-27-2019, 04:10 PM
 
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Something that always comes up with my sped students is who is responsible for assessments and doing the report card, as well as who is to run the parent conference.


Iteachk brought up a ton of good questions and talking points. I'd add that working with multiple teachers also means things might look different in each classroom. I would try not to have an agenda or feel like a certain way is the "right" way to co-teach (I hope that makes sense!). For me, I would prefer to co-teach in small groups. For others it might look different.


I job share so have a partner, and there are a few times during the year that we are teaching together. On those days we designate who is the lead teacher, either for the day or for each chunk of time. It makes it a lot easier to know what our role is for that time. If she's teaching the whole group I'm either doing prep or pulling kids one on one.


Like others have said, communication - and honesty - is key. Good luck with your new position!
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Successful coteaching can be hard
Old 06-01-2019, 01:37 PM
 
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Meet for lunch this summer and talk about your expectations. What is your teaching style? How should students be treated? What's your philosophy regarding inclusion? What behavior management system can you use? I am adamantly against the of clip charts. Fortunately, so was my co-teacher, so we worked together to manage behavior positively and showing students we were on the same page.

Read the co-teaching books by Marilyn Friend. There are many different ways to effectively use two teachers. Generally speaking, one teacher teaching while the other one just monitors is a horrible waste of talent. We alternated between a rotating groups model and just taking turns presenting the lesson. It's nice to have another adult in the room for modeling things like making mistakes and waiting your turn, especially with little ones.

When children are present, both teachers need to be treated as teachers, and not fall into a "one teacher, one aide" trap. The last time I was a co-teaching Gen Ed teacher, I started this mindset by putting two signs on my door, one that said "Ms. Emily26's Class and one that said, "Ms. Co-Teacher's Class". You really need to present a unified front to students.

Both teachers need to have access to the IEPs and have a discussion on each student. Some SPED teachers are very protective of their students and there's a lot of "You can't expect him to be able to do that, so I will do it for him", while that makes Gen Ed teachers nuts. If you're on the same page with goals, it's really easy to look at a lesson and say, "Hey, here's a great place for you to pull this student aside and have some one-on-one time" or "Here's a great place for you to take over teaching whole group while I support these students in taking notes/building words/whathaveyou."

Communication, communication, communication. When my district implemented coteaching, they actually let the SPED teachers choose their GenEd partner, because it's so important that both teachers are on board and can work together well. I've seen things end disastrously when teachers were forced into this model.
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