"TEAM TEACHING. Both teachers are responsible for planning, and they share the instruction of all students. The lessons are taught by both teachers who actively engage in conversation, not lecture, to encourage discussion by students. Both teachers are actively involved in the management of the lesson and discipline."
I tweeted a photo not long about team teaching being a powerful tool. Going home that night I was thinking how students benefited from our team teaching that day and how we benefited from this tool as well.
This year I have started at a new school, after being at my previous school for 6 wonderful years. So besides being nervous and teaching out of my comfort zone, I was hesitant on team teaching as I wasn't sure if it was right tool to use with my students and with other educators. Building trust with your colleagues is critical, so that's something I needed to do first and still developing.
I have team taught before many times in the past when working at my previous school, at least twice a week, as that was the only time we could team teach. So this teaching tool wasn't new, but learning from other educators and their thoughts about this tool was new to me.
Benefits from team teaching?
Two educators = double the learning and double the knowledge for our students. Small summary below.
Having two educators allows students to connect with different personalities. Team teaching allows more opportunities for small group and one-to-one learning, and stronger modelling during lessons.
The planning stages encourages two teachers to bounce ideas off each other in order to deliver the strongest, most engaging lessons. We model positive behaviour and positive peer-to-peer interaction for students. When students observe their teachers working together, they understand the benefits of teamwork, respect and working with other students.
Ask yourself why does team teaching work for you - write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it so you don't forget this powerful tool.
I know some educators don't enjoy team teaching, I asked an educator a while back and they mentioned team teaching doesn't suit them. They get lost in their teaching and they prefer to have full control. So what are some other challenges?
Challenges from team teaching
Two educators = two different opinions and two different styles of teaching.
Like I mentioned before, building trust with your colleagues is crucial, otherwise it will be difficult to work with someone. Especially if their teaching style and philosophy differ from your own. If you are planning to team teach with someone who has different learning and teaching views, talk about it. Look at it as a chance to widen your knowledge, learning and the scope of your practice by incorporating multiple styles into your teaching.
If you have tried team teaching and you didn't enjoy the experience, ask yourself why? Did you seek feedback? Did you make time to reflect with the other educator? What will work next time.
Absolutely our lesson plans/ideas don't go to plan all the time, but the beauty of our profession is we are able to mix and change if things don't work.
In that hour you are working with another colleague, it will give the students and yourself more knowledge, learning and confidence. Never be afraid to learn from others and share your knowledge.
Trust your colleagues and vice versa - #ivegotyourback
These are my own opinions and experiences. I love to share and reflect.