Co-teaching during the student teaching experience means:
- Teacher candidates are presented as part of the teaching team and are actively engaged with students from the first day.
- The students benefit from two teacher's energy, attention, instruction, feedback and ideas throughout the semester.
- Both teacher candidates and cooperating teachers are trained in and expected to use a variety of co-teaching and grouping strategies to lower the student to teacher ratio and provide effective differentiated instruction throughout the experience.
- Co-teachers plan together throughout the experience. Through co-planning in the beginning the teacher candidate has excellent modeling of all the factors that go into the planning process and later the cooperating teacher is assured that necessary skills and assessments are being addressed.
- The cooperating teacher has input into deciding whether a teacher candidate is adequately prepared for a period of true solo teaching or not. Even in solo teaching, the teacher candidate will direct the cooperating teacher in working with small groups as appropriate. This prepares teacher candidates for the reality of working with aides, resource teachers, and even parent volunteers in their future classrooms.