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Role of General Educator and Special Educator

Year 1
GOAL: Establish a working relationship

Role of Administrators
Must leave the team together for at least three
years, while providing support, in order to
allow the teachers time to develop and foster a
1. Do not make scheduling the top priority.
Instead, evaluate teachers styles and
personalities to select a pair that will
balance each other
2. Provide clear expectations of both teachers
roles in the classroom with the
understanding that it will change from year
one to year three
3. Provide PD time at the start of the year on
the definition and structure of co-teaching.
Allow teachers to engage and connect with
partner on important issues, values, and
4. Providing co-planning time on a either a
daily or weekly basis
5. Include both teachers names on student
6. Provide both teachers with access to class
gradebook and learning management
7. Have a candid discussion and check-in with
teachers during the year and at the end of
the year
8. Conduct non-threatening informal
evaluations throughout year as a way of
helping to foster the relationship.
Prepared by Christine Cavallo and Rachel Ruffner

1. Share responsibility for students, communication with parents, grading, and planning
2. Gain comfort with each others learning styles
3. Be flexible and open to trying different co-teaching styles
a. Co-teaching does not always mean that both teachers spend the period in
front of the room providing instruction discuss different co-teaching
models and decide what works best for the specific class and at this point in
time. The SPED teacher may play the support role more and that is OK at
this point.
4. Special educator understand the curriculum, general educators style, and
expectations of the course objectives
5. General educator be willing to explain content to special educator if needed and
understand what the special educator can bring to the classroom. Include special
educator in all decisions. Remain patient and open to the benefits of co-teaching
6. Understand that both teachers will need to invest the most time the first year, but that in
the end it is worth it and will get easier

Year 2
GOAL: Discover what works best
1. Opportunity to evaluate strengths and weaknesses
2. Develop new techniques and best practices based upon what worked best for students
the previous year
3. Determine HOW special educator can be more involved in day-to-day classroom
4. Both teachers feel more comfortable taking on the support role during class and begin
to experiment with stations, parallel teaching, etc.
5. General educator is more comfortable relinquishing control and open to new ideas (in
terms of content and instructional strategies)

Year 3
GOAL: Develop a mutual comfort to try new things and continue reflection
1. Truly start to see co-teaching and feel united
2. Special educator feels comfortable modifying curriculum and discussing new ways to
accomplish shared goals
3. Reflect on ways to supplement activities by utilizing both teachers to the fullest
3. Less time is needed outside of the classroom if these steps have been followed over
the last couple of years
4. Level of comfort fosters creativity and new learning experiences for students (e.g. new
novel/curriculum adjustment, behavioral modifications, pre-assessments, grant writing, etc.)