Co-teaching is a rather new method of teaching, but there are some difficulties that can appear along the way. Having two teachers that both have the goal of teaching students in a classroom can both relieve and cause stress in the environment. There are different forms of teachers working together, but we are just focusing on the instance where both teachers are equally responsible and accountable for an entire class.
There is more support provided to kids who need it.
If you prefer one teacher over the other, you can talk to that one.
Having another teacher in the room adds less pressure on the main teacher. They do not have to answer everyone and it evens out the workload between two people.
A lot of teachers leave their profession due to the lack of help in the classroom, so co-teaching helps with this.
The teachers could have opinions that contradict each other.
You may not know which teacher to go to for help.
Some teachers might have different teaching styles, so this can clash with the main focus and goal of the teachers.
It requires the school to get more teachers, draining funds for other things like school trips and school projects.
Even though it is becoming less common, this method of teaching can appear once every few years. Last year, Mr. Gallugi and Mr. Hurton both taught the same history class. In order to find out more about co-teaching and its benefits and problems, we interviewed them and asked about their opinions on teaching the same class together.
Did you like being a co-teacher, or do you prefer working alone like you are now?
HURTON: The co-teaching experience was great. I co-taught with Mr. Gallugi last year. Hopefully the gift to the students was both of our experiences and hopefully provided a very good class. I was nervous about going back to my own class because I think I enjoyed the experience so much, but I have enjoyed being in my own classroom this year. Although, I have to admit there were times in the classroom that I wish I had Mr. Gallugi to turn to.
GALLUGI: I really enjoyed co-teaching because Mr. Hurton and I had a lot of fun together. I was able to learn a lot from his experience because he’s also a college professor. I added a lot of tools to my teaching tool box from teaching with Mr. Hurton. However, I do prefer my own class because it’s my own. I really had fun teaching with Mr. Hurton and I learned a lot.
Did you ever interrupt each other?
HURTON: I don’t think we really ever interrupted one another. However, I think we injected each other when we felt it was necessary. I think we both respected that it was bringing both of our perspectives to a learning experience. I don’t think we really interrupted. I think Mr. Gallugi was very courteous to me when I wanted to inject something and I hope I was courteous to him.
GALLUGI: We never really interrupted each other because we had the classes planned out before hand. We had the first two periods. We had a prep and a duty last year, so we had the first two periods to plan. We never interrupted each other. We were really always on the same page.
Do you think co-teaching is beneficial? Why?
HURTON: I think there were certain parts of certain aspects of co-teaching that are very beneficial. I think that it takes time to perfect the model. Like with anything new, it’s better with experience and with practice of the model. I think for us to have only taught together for one year may have been a mistake because I think students would have benefited more if we had taught together more than one year.
GALLUGI: I think co-teaching is beneficial if the two teachers get along, are on the same page, and are willing to share the classroom responsibilities. If the teachers don’t click then I don’t think it’s beneficial to the kids.
HURTON: I would just reinforce what I think Mr. Gallugi stated very well that because we got along so well was the reason for seeing the success of being together. Mr. Gallugi mentioned I brought my experience, however, I learned a lot from Mr. Gallugi, too. I think that’s part of the learning/teaching model--that we do learn from another. We all bring something to the teaching/learning environment that is beneficial to all of us.