Coteaching: What Does It Look Like?

Many schools are getting serious about collaboration and coteaching as strategies for implementing the Common Core State Standards. Communication and collaboration across grade levels and content areas are especially critical to students’ success in meeting the CCSS College and Career Readiness Standards, which are identical across grade-levels in the English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Coteaching, however, takes collaboration beyond curriculum articulation.

Coteaching among educators offers many benefits for learners and for educators, too. When implementing new standards, educators who develop a shared vocabulary, procedures, and processes create greater opportunities for student success. Coteaching between a classroom teacher and a school librarian brings together the combined expertise of two professionals who bring different skill sets to the table.

In our graduate program, the majority of our preservice school librarian students, who have all served as classroom teachers, note that they have never practiced coteaching. In our courses, we encourage coplanning and collaborative work. Still, students ask, “What does it look and sound like?”

To that end, Texas Woman’s University doctoral student Ruth Nicole Hall and I provided a demonstration lesson for preservice classroom teachers and selected video snippets of various parts of the process. For both preservice classroom teachers and preservice librarians, we posted videos that showed us, in the roles of classroom teacher and school librarian, coplanning, comodeling, comonitoring, and coteaching this lesson. We hope these snippets will help our students see the benefits in action. Check out the videos on our undergraduate preservice classroom teacher Library Materials for Children course wiki!

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