Improving Collaboration through the Co-Teaching Model – EDU6918 Course Reflection

  1. Professional Practice Criteria – The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.

Program standard 8 suggests that educators engage with one another in an effort to improve teaching practices and become better educators, with the goal of benefiting students in a positive manner. One way in which teachers can promote a positive atmosphere and collaboration is through the co-teaching model, which I learned about in EDU6918 Introduction to Teaching. According to Seattle Pacific University’s Residency Teacher Certification Handbook (2015), the co-teaching model “is a teaching and learning situation where two teachers work together in a classroom with the same group of students; both sharing the planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction…” (p. 26). Through use of the co-teaching model, teacher candidates become competent communicators, engage in collaboration effectively, and improve instructional techniques (Ploessl et al, 2010).

Figure 1

Although I have not yet begun the internship component, I have had the opportunity to work and engage with other students in my cohort. Figure 1 shows an exchange I had with a colleague, and demonstrates mutual respect, cordiality, and the ability to further deepen understanding through communication. Furthermore, these interactions confirmed that collaboration is beneficial to all parties, in that it allows for exploration of concepts in ways we may not have considered, had we worked individually. As a result, lessons and instruction can be improved, which ultimately allows for higher achievement for our students. It is crucial that teacher candidates develop the social skills and positive rapport needed to work effectively with mentor teachers, in addition to the professional community within the school and district.

As the school year approaches, I have been reflecting on ways in which I can improve my collaborative participation in the educational community. Ploessl et al (2010) assert that “co-teachers must work closely together, combining their techniques, goals, and curricula in a way that not only meets their students’ unique academic and behavioral needs, but also rejuvenates the teachers’ professional passion and commitment” (p. 158). By maintaining clear communication, openness to both positive and negative feedback, and voicing my own thoughts or concerns, I will become proficient in collaboration with others in the educational community. Through collaboration, I will learn new instructional techniques and methods, and can directly apply these in the classroom, to the benefit of my students.

References:

Ploessl, D. et al. (2010). On the same page: Practical techniques for enhancing co-teaching interactions. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45 (3), 158-168. Retrieved from: bbweb03.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1073033-dt-content-rid-2260665_1/courses/XLST_A7_201560/Ploessl%20et%20al%202010.pdf

Seattle Pacific University School of Education. (2015). 2015-2016 Residency Teacher Certification Handbook. Retrieved from: sharepoint.spu.edu/OAA/SOE/TEStudents/SiteAssets/SitePages/Teacher Ed Handbook/Residency Teacher Certification Handbook 2015_2016.pdf

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