Collaborative Teaching Q&A's

Why Choose a Collaborative Teaching Classroom?

From the teacher perspective, when you are in the same room as another trained professional, the level of teaching and education rises.  Teachers are constantly able to observe and learn from one another when in the same room, as well as bounce ideas off of each other.  It’s professional development that is embedded on a daily basis.  In thinking about real-world professions, where else are you so isolated in the workplace other than teaching?
From a student perspective, a collaborative classroom benefits the child socially.  It gives the students a bigger pool of children to work with and learn from.  In addition, it allows students to become more accepting of others; their differences, how they work, interests, etc.  Students in a collaborative teaching classroom are also given the opportunity to see adults working and collaborating together, which is again, a real world skill.  Finally, it better meets the needs of students’ varying levels in different areas of the curriculum as the teachers are better able to pull small groups at different times of the day without having to disrupt the other students’ learning, or cause the rest of the class to only work independently.  “When two adults work closely together to teach a heterogeneous group of students the classroom portrait will be unique and ever-changing.” (Co-Teaching That Works, p. 2.)

40 students in one class!!!

When many people hear about the collaborative teaching classroom, and learn that two teachers will share 40 students, they immediately have questions about how 40 students in one class will work.  To start, it is important to remember that the teacher to student ratio will still remain the same as it is in a traditional classroom.  However, the ability to provide small group instruction is increased with two teachers in a room.  The teachers are also able to provide more flexible groupings within different subject areas, giving the students more opportunities to learn from others.  Teachers will be able to address discipline issues without interrupting the whole class, and the class will not need to stop when one child needs the teacher’s attention whether they are sick, hurt, upset, etc.  The parent volunteer population doubles in size for centers and field trips, giving teachers a better chance of acquiring this much needed help.  Finally, students are provided with a consistent familiar face in the classroom when substitutes are needed.

What A Collaborative Classroom…