Co-Teaching this year? More back-to-school tips:
CO-TEACHING IS TOUGH. TEACHERS ARE TOUGHER.
We understand co-teaching is even more difficult than teaching solo! We can help. Check out these tips to make both your lives easier, right from the beginning:
First things first, have the “Getting-to-Know-You Discussion”- Make sure you hash these things out before the beginning of the school year.
We understand that co-teaching is simply a matter of coordinating time to plan, both in and out of the classroom. Some of us do our best planning in the afternoon, right after class, others of us do it better in the shower. You and your co-teacher have to be honest with each other about when and how you do your best work, and then compromise on when you can plan, in-person together. You might need to try out a few different ways first, but sticking to a set time and place the sooner, the better!!
A. When – Do you plan better before or after school? Early morning or late at night? In small chunks over time, or in one session? Do you wait until the weekend, or plan out separate lessons each night?
B. Where- Do you like to stay at school or go home? Do you plan in a quiet space, or is the teacher’s lounge ok? Do you need to be in the actual class you are teaching in to figure out logistics, or can it be in the library?
C. How – Do you practice backwards design? Do you plan better by yourself first, and like to collaborate later? Who is making modifications for the special ed kids? Do you like to experiment with different styles of co-teaching first, or get content down first? How many days ahead are you? Do you plan better in small chunks over time, or in one long-term session?
2.) Discuss your Grading Style: When, Where, & How you grade-
Again, grading is a very personal process. Some of us stay at school and grade no matter how long it takes us or how dark it is outside. Some of us prefer to go to the coffee shop on the weekends in our sweatpants. Depending on the subject you are co-teaching (History vs. Science) or the grade (10th grade vs. 2nd grade) grading could seriously make or break your co-teaching relationship. You must compromise, from the beginning, on these major components of grading style:
A. When– When do you grade, and when do you hand student work back? Do you schedule time to grade as you collect assessments? Do you like to give it back right away, or are you fine with giving a 2 1/2 week window?
B. How– How do you enter grades? Do you have a shared online grade book? Can you both access it? Do you do number grades? Standards-based? On a scale? What rubrics do you use? It is MUCH easier to figure all this out in the beginning, as opposed to the day before grades are due.
C. Where– Where do you like to get your grading done best? Do you do it at school? Or do you bring your work home? Can you grade separately, or for some assignments do you need to be side-by-side?
Check back regularly for more Co-Teaching Tips!