Today’s classrooms have students with a diverse range of abilities and needs that bring unique challenges to teaching in a standards-based learning environment. Co-teaching brings together two or more certified/licensed professionals who can use their expertise to design rigorous learning experiences tailored to meet the unique needs of all students. For example, general educators may have specific expertise in the areas of curriculum and instruction, classroom management, knowledge of typical students, and instructional pacing. Special educators may have additional expertise in the areas of differentiating instruction, monitoring progress, understanding learning processes, and teaching for mastery.
Just as students have different learning preferences, teachers have different teaching styles. Co-teaching provides students with opportunities to learn in environments that model collaboration, demonstrate respect for different perspectives, and utilize a process for building on each other’s strengths to meet a common goal. In effective co-teaching classrooms, teachers model and support these skills to create collaborative learning environments that are results-driven and standards-based.
Texas Education Agency/Education Service Center, Region 20. Co-teaching a how-to guide: Guidelines for co-teaching in Texas. p. 8
Including students with disabilities in the general education classroom is both a challenge and an opportunity. Educators will need to collaborate to successfully meet the needs of these diverse learners. Education Service Center Region 13 offers Power of Inclusion training where participants can gain many ideas for creating a caring, structured, and engaging environment where students follow multiple pathways to accomplish learning outcomes.
Region 13 strongly encourages teachers to attend as a co-teaching partnership. Time is provided for important conversations and collaboration. Paraprofessionals working in inclusive settings are also strongly encouraged to attend. Two-day training is offered in the summer and one-day sessions are offered during the school year. To find the next Power of Inclusion workshop, click on Workshops.
Visit the Region 13 Co-Teaching Training Livebinder for more resources.