Two big things are new to me this fall. Math for Business and Industry – a 12th grade course I’ve never taught and co-teaching. I’ve never been assigned to collaborate with a special education teacher during class time. I’ve sought input and resources, ideas for modifications in the past, but never working together during class time. A couple of different times I even asked administration about me going into the resource classroom and collaborating as a regular education teacher to serve as support to the special educator. Never happened.
I’ve sat through training for co-teaching models, multiple times, but never had to apply any of it. I’ve looked models and suggestions from Pinterest. Even a few articles similar to this one from ASCD.
What if my colleague doesn’t like me? I’m getting ready to begin year 22. I’ve got many ideas of how I like things to be done – but this is no longer “my space” but a shared space. Yikes. How can I help them feel its “our space”?
I know communication, communication, communication will be key. I just hope I come across as sincere and not pushy, the way many I’m afraid see me.
What if I disagree with something they want to do? What can I say that will not come across as stubborn and bossy? I really do want this to be a learning experience, a true collaboration that will benefit all of our students, not just the targeted students.
I know it will be difficult for them to adjust to so many different teaching styles, given they are in other classrooms as well.
I hope they share my same philosophies of bell-to-bell on task.
I am a “be less helpful” – asking / probing a lot rather than showing/telling students what/how to do and what to think. Will this work with special education learners? Or will I need to adjust to more direct instruction?
I am very much a fan of maniupulatives – Hands On Equations, Alge-blocks, many graphs with Desmos, but I also want to implement a lot of structures from WODB, Estimation180, CthenC, Number Talks, Counting Circles, and Pam Harris’ Numeracy Strategies as bell ringer / daily starters.
I try to be proactive with student behavior, but I do have certain expectations. How do others handle discipline?
Is it my responsibility to provide the foundation tasks and then we collaborate to come up with modifications together?
Do I keep grades for non-special education students and they score / grade / feedback for students with disabilities?
Is there a go-to resource anyone can share on things we should discuss? Even the chart in the article linked above, is that a good starting spot for discussion? This I feel is key to setting the tone for the year – both of us sharing our expectations, strengths/weakness, things we are nervous about and even excited about too.
I appreciate any suggestions and resources you can share.