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We have been an inclusive school for a while now. However, the model we have used has not used our special education teachers effectively. We are looking to embrace the co-teaching model. My question is what have other people done to get this started in their schools? What has been your role as principal in getting this going?

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John Simon's picture
John Simon
Positive Behavioral Interventions Support Councilor

I would need more details to make a more informative statement, but here it goes. We have a multitier system of dealing with student learning. We group the students based on there need. That meas some students will be getting more time will specialized staff than others. It's hard to explain, but easy to implement. The need drives the decision for staffing.

Barbara A. Hopkins's picture

Hello: I developed a co-teaching model for a Career & College Prep Algebra 1 course. We found that a third level (very low) required 2 years for students to complete Algebra 1,the classes had numerous behavioral issues, and that most of the Learning Centers (Resource Rooms) had SpEd teachers helping students with algebra. Also there was a huge mistrust between math & SpEd teachers which polluted student support efforts. The SpEd Director and I re-arranged schedules so that we eliminated some of the Learning Centers and instead put SpEd teachers (HQT'd in math) in a teamed effort with high school math teachers of Alg 1. This was not easy...but we are now in our 2nd year and the results are promising. Our goals are to advance more students successfully through Alg II. We had fewer failures and cut behavioral issues to 10% of previous years. This is following an RTI model where we are increasing the differentiation within the classes (Tier 1) and providing additional Algebra Lab support to students with greater needs. The lab is run by the same team of teachers for their students (requires some hand-scheduling. We have witnessed enthusiasm as the lab students realize they are learning new materials before the rest of the kids in the classes and that the teachers have varied their assessments to provide greater communication of learning by students and fewer failures. One such event allowed a SpEd student 2 full white boards to complete an assessment and the student scored a B with a prior history of always failing math tests. That was huge for both the SpEd & the Math teacher! There have been bumps...but the model is progressing.

Sue Graham's picture
Sue Graham
High School Algebra teacher

At my school we sent co-teaching teams, one gen. ed. teacher and one special ed. teacher, to a co-teaching training at our local intermediate unit. They taught us the different models of co-teaching as well as management strategies and communication techniques. I have had two different co-teachers. (I'm the gen ed math teacher) The two teachers really have to get along and the special ed teacher has to be comfortable with the content being taught.
We started with only a few teams but we have several teams now. I really enjoy co-teaching and it really benefits the students.

Josh Patterson, PhD's picture
Josh Patterson, PhD
Assistant Principal/Boiling Springs Intermediate School

As a teacher, I was fortunate to teach an inclusion math class. We designed and utilized a very effective method to co-teaching. My experience was so fasinating, a couple of years ago the inclusion teacher and I decided to write an article. I have attached a link to the article and would love your comments, feedback.

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