Saturday , 16 December 2017
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Co-Teaching – Partnering for Progress

co-teaching_classroomThe terms co-teaching and inclusion are often used synonymously, but in fact their meanings are not the same.  Co-teaching occurs when two qualified teachers (often a regular education teacher and a special education teacher) share in the delivery of the lesson and in overseeing practice.  With co-teaching also comes common planning.  The teachers must plan together in order for co-teaching to be an effective instructional technique and for students to get the most out of the lesson.  The regular education teacher is most often the content expert, and the special education teacher is the strategy expert.  When both work together, the benefits that all students in the classroom are afforded are endless.

Inclusion refers to students with and without disabilities being served or taught in the same setting or regular education classroom.  Individuals also refer to inclusion as a regular education teacher and a special education teacher being in the same classroom.  Inclusion is only effective if it is coupled with co-teaching.

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

One comment

  1. This is so very true. While the inclusion setting is often the most conducive for exceptional children, the co-teaching aspect is often not present. As a former Special Education teacher, I never felt part of the inclusion classrooms in which I was “the other teacher”. As teachers we are often very protective of our classroom. It’s our little world and to share it with someone, even for one period a day, makes us feel like we have to give away control of our classroom if we take on the simple idea of co-teaching. Co-teaching benefits all students in the classroom whether they have a disability or not. Although I teach science now and do not have to worry about co-teaching, I encourage regular education teachers and special education teachers who work together to collaborate and share the teaching responsibilities. You never know what you can learn from one another.

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