Co-Teaching refers to a teaching method wherein two or more teachers share the responsibility of educating their students. In co-teaching, everything that involves student education and participation are shared between a team of teachers. In a typical setup, one teacher will serve as the main teacher while the other will perform the assistant role. In other cases, more than two people may be involved in the co-teaching process. Co-teaching basically allows for the sharing of the teaching responsibility in terms of planning for lessons, execution or instruction, and student evaluation or assessment. Some classes are conducted with the co-teaching process because of the following benefits:
Increase in creativity
Co-teaching involves the ideas of 2 or more teachers in the same classroom and this leads to increased creativity in terms of the mode of instruction or the way topics are presented and learned. With different perspectives, co-teachers will be able to select the most creative idea that may be applied during the preparation of lessons or during the actual execution of instructions and activities. Co-teaching also increases the creativity among students as they will be exposed to different points of view.
Improvement in student participation
The idea of having 2 or more teachers in one class may also benefit students in the sense that more of them will be prompted to participate in classroom activities. More than one teacher will basically mean one or two extra people to monitor students in a given classroom. While one teacher may be giving instructions or explaining a certain topic, the other teacher in the class may check with students in terms of how they can contribute and participate. There is also a way in co-teaching that involves dividing the class into different groups with one teacher assigned to each group. In this specific setup, a smaller group of students will be encouraged to participate more in class because of an assigned co-teacher.
Faster learning for some students
Co-teaching is especially beneficial to a special education classroom. Students with special needs basically need specific attention when it comes to learning. In the process of co-teaching, more students will be closely monitored in terms of their learning skills, progress in school, and potential problems. With co-teachers involved, many of these students with special needs will learn faster than they would if there was only one teacher in charge of the whole class. In the case of classroom activities for example, students with special needs will ultimately learn better and faster if they are personally monitored or they belong to small groups that is headed by a co-teacher that belongs to a team.
The co-teaching setup may not necessarily be applicable to all classrooms because of various challenges and possible disadvantages. If the co-teaching method is implemented, schools and educational institutions need to ensure that the co-teachers are equipped with the right tools to work harmoniously together. The teachers involved in co-teaching must also be ready to take on the challenges they may face at different classrooms they are assigned to in order to be effective in what they are tasked to do.