It is hard to disagree that teacher collaboration is crucial for maintaining a successful and positive classroom environment. This importance can be explained by the fact that the lack of such cooperation can lead to miscommunication, reduced classroom success and performance, and the general inability to follow the curriculum efficiently. There are six models of co-teaching, and each of them can have its advantages and disadvantages. During my field experience in an inclusive K-12 classroom, I observed the educators using the One Teach, One Assist model, which, in my opinion, was not quite effective.
Overall, this model created an uneven balance of power between the two teachers, and some children did not consider one of them an authoritative figure. Further, when the assisting educator helped some students individually, this was not very successful concerning the kids’ enhanced understanding (Kurtz, n.d.). Therefore, I would recommend replacing the model with the Team Teaching method (California State University, n.d.). The roles of the two teachers will be equal, and both will energize students and encourage their participation. As for the latter, I can say that not all students took an active role in the lesson since several of them failed to understand some information and waited for the assistant teacher’s support. Addressing specific students’ misunderstandings at the end of the lesson would make sure that other children do not lack support and attention during the main learning process.
Further, I feel that there was enough communication between the teachers, considering the selected model. The main educator included assisting one in the classroom activities and made some recommendations referring to the support of individual students. The main lesson I took from this experience is that some children understand the information but simply lack attention. Consequently, I will use this knowledge in the future and provide more care to such kids. Another valuable conclusion for my practice is that children respect power, and if it is not properly distributed between the two teachers, students may decide that one of the educators is not an authority for them.
California State University. (n.d.). Six co-teaching strategies [PDF document].
Kurtz, R. (n.d.). One Teach, One Assist model. Integrated Co-Teaching Models.