Benefits of Co-Teaching

When we first began co-teaching many questioned the benefits of co-teaching. We found ourselves sharing research and our own personal experiences to provide evidence to benefits for children. Today, teachers share these benefits with us. You can still find research to support co-teaching, but first hand accounts of teachers in the classroom every day is powerful! The following are examples of benefits we have seen and also that teachers have shared with us.

For Students with Disabilities . . .

  • Increased participation in general education classrooms
  • Higher achievement and test scores
  • Better social skills
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Less behavior problems
  • Reduced curriculum fragmentation and “missed” activities
  • Higher teacher expectations

For Students without Disabilities . . .

  • Exposure to a wider range of instructional alternatives
  • Additional help for other students who need assistance
  • Greater acceptance of human differences
  • Better understanding of the similarities among students
  • Academic performance is equal or improved

We would love to hear from you, what benefits have you seen in your classroom?

Arranging the Classroom Environment for Co-teaching

Space always comes up as a barrier to co-teaching. Using co-teaching structures requires teachers to consider the classroom environment and make decisions prior to implementing the structures. If you try to co-teach without planning for the room arrangement it can become frustrating. We recommend sketching out your room and making a plan.

Consider Factors Affecting Environmental Decisions:

  • Number of students in class
  • Size and shape of classroom
  • Type of furniture
  • Voice volume of teachers
  • Individual student characteristics
  • Number of class periods teachers co-teach
  • Arrange at least two teaching stations (whiteboard, table or desks, materials)

Determine Areas For:

  • Large group instruction (team teaching)
  • Two medium groups (parallel or 2-stations)
  • Three small groups (station, alternative)
  • Cooperative groups of four students

Pre-establish Student Groups (for 1 grading period):

  • 3 heterogeneous groups (e.g. shapes)
  • 2 heterogeneous groups (e.g. A, B or odd-even)
  • Collaborative groups of 4 students (e.g. teams)

Flexible Groups Based on Assessment:

  • Readiness/Skill groups (based on pre-test)
  • Interest groups