Co-Teaching: Teaching partnerships need to be cohesive in order to function and be successful in the classroom. Get my tips and advice to make co-teaching work.
In a Full Day Kindergarten classroom there is an Early Childhood Educator and Teacher working together. This teaching partnership can put two people together that have never even met each other before, and they have to find their groove in the classroom.
Co-teaching can be difficult as you get used to each other, your teaching styles and personalities. I’ve put together some strategies that you can try when things aren’t feeling cohesive in your partnership:
Expectations for Co-Teaching
You want to start the year off on the same page- check in with each other about your expectations for the classroom. What does each person want to do/not want to do?
Have these discussions and regularly check in with each other. Make sure things are still working, and make sure nothing needs to be changed up.
At the beginning of the year, my partner and I discussed who liked to do morning message, reading groups, writing groups, math input, etc. This made sure that we were each doing something we loved, and working to our strengths.
Maintaining an open line of communication with your teaching partner is the key to successfully co-teaching. It is the basis for the relationship, and will ensure that you both are happy.
I like to make sure I am using active listening. Make sure you are listening and responding to what your partner is saying. Taking this stance will make sure that you are being responsive to what is being discussed.
Do not take offense during these discussions. Professional conversations need to happen, and there needs to be open communication. If you take what they are saying personally- you won’t be able to make any progress.
Take an interest in their personal life. You want to build a relationship with your partner, and learning more about them will help you get closer to each other.
Ask questions and clarify. When you are unsure of what they want, or what they need, just ask!
- to new ideas– try something new, and be accepting of trying new things in your classroom.
- to new suggestions– try to remember to not take things personally. We want to have professional conversations together.
- to change– try out new strategies, activities, schedules, etc. That’s how we learn and grow as professionals, when we are willing to change things up!
Not every educator is going to have the same teaching philosophy. We bring our own background, experiences and education to our teaching.
With that being said, a relationship requires give and take, and the same thing can be said for co-teaching. You will have to compromise, and try to find some middle ground.
What are your best conflict resolution tips? What’s your best advice for new partnerships? Let me know in the comments!
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