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Does anyone have any experience of co-teaching?(8 Posts)
I'm an NQT (part way through) and have accepted a role for September which involves co-teaching in year 6.
I wondered whether anyone had any experience of this and how it worked for you?
It's different to what I've been doing so far (teaching in a mixed age class) and is in a school I've worked in before but not for any extended length of time. My co-teacher is very experienced but it isn't an overly large class so it's purely to better support the children in their final year.
I expect it'll be a good way to get experience in this age group and to learn a lot in a year.
Did you tend to withdraw groups or team teach?
Has it been agreed that this is a suitable post for an NQT? You need to be careful that the very experienced teacher doesn’t do all the planning and assessment and that you are used as a TA because this won’t give you enough experience and evidence to complete your NQT year.
I asked that question when I was offered the role. I have meetings set up with the other teacher over the next month or so in order to organise how we'll split the workload.
I am still concerned about it though. How do I show the evidence?
I should have worded that more clearly. In my current role, I don't keep a particular NQT file, but I work closely with a senior teacher who is in the neighbouring age group so she knows what I'm working on and I ask for help when I need it. I do the same assessments, parents evenings, reports and CPD as more experienced members of staff.
I suppose evidence of behaviour management etc. might be more difficult to show if there are two of us in the classroom. Maybe with assessments etc, it would be better to split it equally/ planning - to plan for our own respective groups.
I've taught year 6 and had an additional teacher, although for part of the year rather than from September. I tried to be flexible but generally it meant that I could split the class to be able to target work in order to prepare for tests. So I would take the higher ability English, support teacher would take the lowers. I wanted to work on boosting the children bordering the pass mark in maths so I'd have them, support would have those who we were confident would pass etc. We worked together and planned together but would teach our groups separately for English and maths. Then the support tended to do booster groups/activities during other subjects.
I wouldn't say it was a teacher/TA situation but I was definitely the one with full class responsibility. Support was a help but I always felt it was on my head.
But there are a number of ways it could be in your school!
Watch out for workload!
I am secondary so a very different situation but so called co teaching with a part time mmeber of staff (this is not part timer bashing; it just meant she wasn't always around to catch up with!) massively increased my workload (and hers, I assume, although that's another story). It can add to emails, meetings and so on. Make sure who marks what is very clear and keep lines of communication open.
It sounds to me like this is a set up where both of you teach the class at the same time (so what I call team teaching?) . If so, I agree that you need to make sure you aren't being used as a TA/ assigned only a certain kind of teaching task or student.
It could, however, be great if the other teacher also acts as your mentor : you could learn loads.
Thanks for the replies. The things you've mentioned are what I was concerned about. Keeping my fingers crossed that someone has done this successfully!
My colleague did that in her last school. She says that you need a lot of trust with your partner and to know each other well! I seem to remember she says there are 2 basic models - one where you take it in turns during the teaching, just chipping in where you feel you've got something relevant to add, and the other described above where you take responsibility for different groups of pupils in the lesson. She had only been teaching a couple of years when she went to that school and without doubt, it improved her teaching far faster than anything else ever could have done. Normally, you qualify, get given your own class, the door is shut and you're left to sink or swim - limited opportunities to observe others, pretty much no chance to discuss a lesson afterwards and unpick what might have made it better, or what misconceptions might have caused a child's difficulty. This way, you get to observe a very experienced teacher and be mentored/supported at the same time. As long as you and your new partner develop a good working relationship, your teaching will improve beyond belief!
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