The Maryland Co-teaching Framework - ppt download

effective co-teaching strategies

Effective Teaching / August 6, 2017

How are the Co-Teaching Strategies similar?

  • Two or more co-teachers in the classroom.
  • Capitalizes on specific strengths & expertise of co-teachers.
  • Provides greater teacher/student ratio and brings additional 1-1 support for students in the classroom.
  • All approaches have benefits and cautions associated with their use.
  • Students are heterogeneously grouped by mixed abilities and interests.
  • Shared responsibilities.
  • Requires trust, communication, planning time, and coordination of effort.

(Note: The need for all of these elements increases as you move from supportive to parallel, parallel to complementary, and complementary to team teaching co-teaching.)

How are the Co-Teaching Strategies different?

Supportive Co-Teaching

Parallel Co-Teaching



Team Teaching

  • One co- teacher is in the lead role; others provide support. Who is in lead and who provides support may change during the lesson.
  • Co-teachers work with different groups of students in the same room. (There are numerous different options for arranging the groups.)
  • The co-teachers share responsibility for teaching the whole class. One takes a lead content role and the other facilitates access to the curriculum.

  • One co- teacher teaches content; the other clarifies, paraphrases, simplifies, or records content.

  • One co-teacher may pre-teach specific study or social skills and monitors students’ use of them; the other co- teacher teaches the academic content.
  • Both co- teachers are equally responsible for planning, instruction of content, assessment, and grade assignment.

  • Requires the greatest amount of planning time, trust, communication, and coordination of effort.

What are potential problems with co-teaching?

Supportive Co-Teaching Cautions

Parallel Co-Teaching Cautions

Complementary Co-Teaching Cautions

Team Teaching Cautions

  • Beware of the “Velcro effect, ” where a supportive co-teacher hovering over one or selected students, stigmatizing both students and the co-teacher.

  • Beware of making the supportive co-teacher the “discipline police, ” materials copier, or in-class paper grader rather than an instructor.

  • Beware of ineffective use of expertise of supportive co-teacher (e.g., special educator)

  • Beware of resentment if the skills of the supportive co-teacher (e.g., special educator) are not being used or the lead (e.g., content teacher) co-teacher feels an unequal burden of responsibility.

  • Beware of staying in the supportive role, due to lack of planning time.
  • Beware of creating a special class within the class and lowering student achievement by homogeneously grouping lower performing students together (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollack, 2001, p. 84).

  • Beware that noise level can become uncomfortably high when numerous activities are occurring in the same room.

  • Beware failing to adequately prepare other co-teachers to ensure they deliver instruction as intended, since you cannot monitor each other while you all are simultaneously co-teaching.
  • Beware of not monitoring the students who need it.

  • Beware of too much teacher talk, repetition, and lack of student-student interaction.

  • Beware of “typecasting” the co-teacher delivering content as the “expert” or “real” teacher.

  • Beware of failing to plan for “role release, ” so all co-teachers get to teach the content