Role Play: We All Work Better, Together!
This discussion is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the objectives;
Analyze the value of co-teaching as an inclusion model of instructional delivery; Determine some of the causes of education-based conflict, and evaluate problem solving; Evaluate problem solving and negotiation strategies to resolve education-based conflict;, and Recognize the importance of knowing personal strengths and weaknesses in conflict resolution. Additionally, the discussion represents your mastery of the Course Learning Outcomes 1, 2, & 3.
In previous weeks, you learned about the value of co-teaching including the benefit to the all the students in the classroom. However, many special educators feel that they are not a content-area expert, that they are seen as a “helper teacher”, or there is not enough planning time to properly define roles and responsibilities (Co-Teaching, 2013). Some may simply default to the classroom teacher because they do not yet have tenure, are unsure of how to approach the topic, or are simply uncomfortable with conflict and want to avoid it.
To develop a successful co-teaching environment, the National Education Association (NEA) lists six steps to facilitate the collaboration between the special and general education teachers:
- establishing rapport,
- blend teaching styles,
- leverage strengths and weaknesses,
- review IEPs,
- teach as a united team, and
- grow together (Marston, n.d.).
To further address these issues, authors such as Windel and Warren (n.d) outline how to be a proactive problem-solver during education –based conflict. These authors suggest a progression that prepares for the discussion by:
- finding common interests and what is fair,
- collaborate by sharing emotions, defining the issues, creating options, and
- reaching an equitable agreement. Consider the Windel and Warren resource in addition to your textbook and other research as you participate in this discussion.
Initial Post – Consider the Co-Teaching Scenario below then create a response to the questions that follow. Each question will be addressed with at least one paragraph as a response and synthesize scholarly resources to support the response’s content.
Co-Teaching Scenario – Imagine you and your colleague were hired at the same time at your elementary school. Before being hired, your colleague’s previous position was at an elementary school in another state for ten years and admittedly has never co-taught. You, on the other hand, just completed all requirements to become a state certified special education teacher with only student teaching experience under your belt. You have been assigned to co-teach throughout the day as students only transition for ‘specials’ such as P.E., music, and art. Since September, you have tried to plan and co-teach, but it is now December and you still feel like a classroom assistant. You have even heard students talking about you as the classroom “helper teacher”, with your partner being the “real teacher”. You finally decide to have a direct talk with your co-teacher.
- Using an unbiased perspective of both teachers, what do you think is the cause of this conflict?
- Discuss a plan for communicating effectively with the co-teacher using what you’ve learned so far including how you will document the meeting and a follow- up plan to reevaluate your team’s success.