What Does Co-teaching Look Like?

Co-teaching can take many forms in the classroom. Some of the most common forms of co-teaching are outlined below. Many resources exist that describe these methods of co-teaching in more detail and provide example lessons for each of the different models.   These sources are listed on the Resources and Additional Information page.



One Teach, One Support: In this model, one teacher is “leading” the lesson, while the other is monitoring student behavior, setting up the classroom for later activities, or generally supporting the primary teacher. It is important to remember that both teachers are playing an active role in the lesson at any given time, despite one teacher being at the front of the group while the other teacher circulates. (Murawski and Spencer, 2011).

Team Teaching: In this model, the two teachers work as a team. Instead of one teacher circulating, both educators are at the front of the class leading the class and complementing one another throughout the lesson time (Murawski and Spencer, 2011)

Parallel Teaching: This model involves two lessons occurring simultaneously with smaller teacher to student ratios. The students are grouped into two sections. There is no particular way in which students must be grouped; however, it should be in a way that best meets the goals and objectives of the lesson. (Murawski and Spencer, 2011).

Station Teaching: In this model, learners are grouped into three or more groups to progress through specific workstations. Teachers may choose to each lead a station, one may lead a station while the other circulates, or both may circulate as students move throughout the classroom. Groupings here are not necessarily determined by grade level (Murawski and Spencer, 2011).

Alternative teaching: One teacher works with a larger group of students, while the second teacher works with a smaller group of students who might need more attention, whether they have disabilities or are gifted students. It is important that no new information is given to either group at this time so that students are not falling behind their peers based on their need for additional support or practice. (Murawski and Spencer, 2011).

These five models constitute some of the most common forms of co-teaching in the classroom today. Each can be used individually, or a team can alternate between forms. It is important that whichever model is used, it is used so that students are receiving the maximum benefit of having multiple educators present.


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