Co-teaching is a method of providing services and direct special education instruction within the general education classroom. It is one component in the continuum of specialized instruction and intervention services to meet needs of all students. This model allows general education teachers and special educators to collaborate while meeting a wide range of learners more effectively with targeted interventions and providing meaningful small group instruction. The special educator has the ability to target interventions while making on-the-spot adaptations or modifications to the general education curriculum. Special educators and general education teachers can collaboratively develop alternative learning targets based on readiness and student needs.
The focus of this method of service delivery is to build capacity to better serve students. FWSU is dedicated to increasing co-teaching opportunities district wide. Providing ongoing professional development will ensure successful implementation of the district’s co-teaching plan. We will continue work to increase and expand co-teaching classes in all schools.
The Freshman Core Team at BFA Fairfax is the first cohort implementing the co-teaching service delivery model. Thoughtful care and planning was taken when designating teaching partnerships along with ongoing professional development and supportive coaching.
Sara Villeneuve and Danielle Kicsak shared the following examples of successes they have experienced so far with co-teaching:
- Students access both educators as equal teachers in the classroom
- Sharing of ideas and resources
- Differentiation for student learning
- Small reading and writing groups with targeted instruction
- Smaller student/teacher ratio
- Improved progress monitoring of student achievement
The next step is to explore differentiated co-teaching models. This will facilitate movement to a fully integrated co-teaching service delivery model across the district. Co-teaching helps remove barriers for students with disabilities and creates access for all learners.
Target 3 – FLEXIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: FWSU maximizes flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom and fostering creativity, innovation, and personalized learning opportunities for all.