This discussion is your opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the objective analyze ways to create a collaborative school culture to promote professional growth and leadership and analyze the value of co-teaching as an inclusion model of instructional delivery. The discussion represents your mastery of the Course Learning Outcomes 1 & 2.
Before the reauthorization of IDEA in 2004, schools were implementing inclusion, but it was not necessarily the ‘norm’; instead, children with a disability were educated in a self-contained classroom within the general school population. Included with the most updated changes was a closer alignment with NCLB (No Child Left Behind) requirement for data-based decisions, more rigorous standards and highly qualified teachers (No Child Left Behind, 2013). Teachers new to the field of education are being taught during their coursework how to implement inclusive, co-teaching practices and are therefore unfamiliar with past teaching practices. On the other hand, teachers who have been practicing for more than 10 years have experiences in both education environments.
While it is clear that co-teaching is not the most popular method of instructional delivery for all teachers, viewpoints have been made clear and with good reasoning for use of this method. To prepare for this discussion, it is recommended you review Co-Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms: The Pros and Cons, where the author concisely lists each point of view and teaching suggestions related thereto. You will see that co-teaching has many benefits from reviewing that resource in conjunction with your reading of the opening the “Voices from the Field” provided as an introduction to chapter seven in the Murawski and Spencer (2011) textbook for our course.
Initial Post – Imagine you are in a Professional Learning Community that promotes inclusive education and co-teaching. Imagine further that your principal has asked your group to talk with the faculty about the inclusive initiative and boosting teacher morale. Using the first initial of your last name as a guide, select a concern below about co-teaching. In your response, explain why the teacher may have felt that way and describe how collaborative efforts between the two teachers could have proceeded differently.
- If you last name begins with the letters A – M: You will address the concerns of the special educator in the co-teaching environment when you hear statements such as: “Sure, I’ve co-taught before. I hated it. All I did was walk around the room and check that my students had their homework or paid attention. I was a glorified aide, at the mercy of whatever the general education teacher wanted me to do” (Murawski & Spencer, 2011, p. 93).
- If your last name begins with the letters N – Z: You will address the concerns of the general educator in the co-teaching environment when you hear statements such as “Co-teaching? No thanks. I don’t really see the benefit of having another adult in the room if he or she doesn’t’ know the content. Plus I hear horror stories of co-teachers always coming late, leaving early, or missing class altogether” (Murawski & Spencer, 2011, p. 93).