The aim of every learning institution is to produce the best students academically. This goal is usually carried by the teachers, who bear the obligation to apply the most appropriate teaching modes to ensure that the students attain the best grades and become effective citizens in their future endeavors. This achievement is usually hard to achieve because diverse students posses different disabilities and difficulties (Wilson & Blednick, 2011). For instance, some students have dyslexia, an aspect that inhibits their learning focus and ability. Other students find it difficult learning languages that are not their first language, while others experience difficulties understanding particular subjects (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2012). These examples depict how teachers encounter hardships in their teaching practices, an aspect that forces them to strategize on other platforms that will ease their plight. Different methods of easing learning exist, but the most practical and successful method is co-teaching. Co-teaching has different definitions that depend on the model of application, but in general terms, it is a teaching practice, where two or more teachers participate in teaching one classroom (Wilson & Blednick, 2011). This is a practice that happens when particular students in a classroom depict difficulties in learning or when there are very many students in a classroom that a single teacher cannot handle.
It is crucial to identify whether there are disabilities encountered by the students and what these disabilities are before co-teaching approach begins. This is essential because it lays the basic platform of identifying the root problem. In this regard, the first step to take is to identify students with difficulty learning English as their second or third language. This case is usually common to students from diverse backgrounds learning English. For instance, students who immigrate to U.S.A, will be obliged to learn English in order to align with the curriculum. This becomes difficult because these students will learn alongside students who speak English as their first language (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2012). At this point, co-teaching becomes necessary because the special assigned teacher will help this group of students to easily align with the other students. This means that the teacher will have to utilize every available opportunity to attend to these needy students by ensuring that they overcome their learning difficulties.
Prior to assigning special teachers to attend to these students, team teaching can also be applicable. Team teaching is a co-teaching concept that ensures that two or more teachers cooperate to improve learning in one classroom due to the high number of students (Fattig & Taylor, 2008). This approach is necessary because most public schools have many students in one classroom, which fosters challenges for a single teacher to attend to and fulfill the needs of all the students simultaneously. For this reason, team teaching allows teachers assigned to particular classroom to execute plans together and to share ideas and instructions. This collaboration is significant because it grants the needy students the needed attention (Fattig & Taylor, 2008). This is the case because; team teaching allows teachers to attend to students individually; thus, identifying their difficulties and offering assistance. For instance, one teacher cannot individually explain to each student how to fix their mistakes after checking their previous assignments. In such a situation, the teacher explains the solution to all students at the same time, an aspect that does not satisfactorily help the clueless students. This usually happens because the teacher does not possess adequate time to explain to the students multiple times because the teacher follows the schedule of the instructional plan. This situation diminishes the motivation of the students, who end up losing focus on their studies. Therefore, co-teaching or team teaching foster incredible significance on improving learning in institutions because the learning needs of different students are attended to.
In order to successfully implement the co teaching model, the most considerable step to consider is to begin by identifying English learning difficulties among the students in the classroom. This is possible through the usual English assignments where certain students attain low grades on most of the assignments. The concerned teacher goes on to find out the main course of this learning difficulty in order to understand the best approaches to impose (Fattig & Taylor, 2008). A deeper cultivation of the case might end up showing the teacher that these students have other first languages and English becomes the second or third languages; hence, causing difficulties in learning the language. In addition, other students might have disabilities like dyslexia, whereby students find it difficult pronouncing or differentiating certain English words. More so, the students can portray English learning difficulties due to lack of individual attention from the teacher, in cases where there are many students in one class (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2012). Therefore, identifying whether teacher per student ratio is affecting English learning should also be put into consideration.
The next step to consider is whether the identified case raises the need for co-teaching approaches. For instance, if a classroom has more than twenty students, the teacher is obliged to impose co-teaching approaches. Another example is in cases of learning difficulties like dyslexia, where a special teacher will definitely be of need. More so, students who learn English as their second language specialized teaching concept to help them learn the language fast (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2012).
The other step is preparing teachers for the co-teaching concepts because doing so prepares them psychologically for the impending journey ahead. The other most crucial step is ensuring that the implemented teaching approach is utilized effectively. This can be realized through subsequent score tests before and after co-teaching approaches are inflicted (Fattig & Taylor, 2008). The effectiveness of the approach will be determined if the scores increases and vice versa. The other method of identifying the effectiveness of the approach is by conducting a survey from the concerned people like the students’ families or the school principal.
In order for the afore-mentioned plan to be successful, relevant stakeholders in the education sector must be involved. The first supporter of this initiative is the ministry of education, which bears the mandate to deploy supportive teachers in needy schools. The second supporters of the initiative are the school principals, who bear the obligation to grant their schools all the needed resources that include co-teachers (Fattig & Taylor, 2008). The other players in this field are the human resource department because the department is concerned with recruitment of teachers. More so, the department understands the fundamental aspects that determine when the co-teachers are required and the specific qualifications that are needed.
Dove, M. & Honigsfeld, A. (2012). Co-teaching and Other Collaborative Practices in the EFL/ESL Classroom: Rationale, Research, Reflections, and Recommendations. IAP.
Fattig, M. & Taylor, M. (2008). Co-Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom: Successful Collaboration, Lesson Design, and Classroom Management, Grades 5-12. John Wiley & Sons.
Wilson, G. L., & Blednick, J. (2011). Teaching in tandem: Effective co-teaching in the inclusive classroom. Alexandria, Va: ASCD.