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Team Teaching?

This year, the ESL team has decided that we need to provide more push-in rather than pull-out support for our ESL students. In my case, this means that I will be pushing-in to grades 6 and 8 during their language arts, math and social studies times, and pulling-out some grade six beginner students for an extra hour of language arts, four times a week. Last year we gave our beginner students an average of two hours of pull-out support every day; they never attended their regular language arts class.

Yesterday was our first day under this new regime and I loved it!

I can't say we'll be team teaching for sure because that requires close planning time, which we've had some of, but we're definitely moving to a co-teaching situation where I'm not an observer but rather another teacher in the class. For some students, who don't know me, this is not what they signed up for but I think it will be a win-win for all involved. My biggest dilemma will be how to work with my co-teachers so that we all improve our teaching in the long run. We are all in a position to offer constructive criticism and suggestions for change to each other.

I spent most of yesterday's classroom time observing and interacting with small groups and individuals. I am treading lightly as I have high regard for the teachers I work with. I know they want to be more effective teachers and are willing to try something new if it will help students learn better. So, we are talking and trying out different strategies. At our weekly meetings I am hoping that we can address some of these issues as well as the curriculum content.

If you have had any experience team teaching of any kind, but especially if you worked with a specialist teacher as a classroom teacher or vice versa, I hope you will chime in with how it went, especially with tips for making these kinds of relationships successful.

I will be blogging about this often during this year as I am anxious for this model to succeed.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers A Slice of Life.
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