Besides wanting to change the world, every teacher decides to become a teacher because they love autonomy! I want to be king or queen of my castle. Oops, I mean classroom. You can guess how a teacher who loves autonomy and freedom will respond to their principal saying, “Hey I would like you to co-teach with _________ this semester.”
Don’t worry, here’s three tips to help soften the blow and set you up for an awesome Co-Teaching Partnership.
- Create a pro/con list to acknowledge what you will lose and gain from working with another teacher. For example, when I coached two teachers who were struggling with their co-teaching partnerships they both acknowledged they felt like they lost the ability to be flexible with classroom content to be taught. By acknowledging this, we able to determine which parts of the curriculum would leave room for flexibility.
- Create a needs/wants list. In order to successfully be my best, I need and want. This list allows you to negotiate with your co-teacher. Ms. Berg might need to have a unit plan by Sunday night in order to feel prepared. I found many co-teaching partnerships suffer when they don’t explicitly talk about this list.
- Determine all the roles for that class period and then delegate accordingly. Different classes have different needs. Class 801 might have 5 students with specific learning needs and therefore require constant check ins. Who then works with those students?
All three tips set you up for a healthy co-teaching partnership. Most of our work as Agiri consultants involves helping clients facilitate these frank conversations. Before the school year starts again, schedule time to have work on these lists and have the frank conversations. Let us know how it goes.
Are there other tips you have for framing a successful co-teaching partnership?