Teaching as a team
Teachers at Creekside are piloting a new way to address the diverse needs of students. Three classes are using a new co-teaching program to meet students’ unique social-emotional and instructional needs.
Creekside’s program features two special education teachers who deliver core instruction, along with specialized instruction as needed, to a diverse group of students in a single physical space. Since co-teachers share responsibility and accountability for students’ learning, classrooms potentially have fewer behavior referrals. Co-teaching partnerships require educators to work as a team and make joint instructional decisions. This improves teacher efficiency. "Co-teaching has provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with another professional to ensure student success," said Creekside Co-Teacher Brittany Atkinson.
Students in Creekside’s co-teaching classes have access to a variety of instructional strategies supported by two expertly-trained instructors. With tiered levels of instruction in the classroom, education is tailored to meet the needs of the student. The co-teaching program also provides students with opportunities for peer interactions and exposes them to positive academic and social role models. "The co-teaching model has enhanced student engagement and independence throughout the school day," added Creekside Co-Teacher Jennifer Wilson.
“If we continue to have success with the model, we’re looking to expand co-teaching to more classes next school year,” said Creekside Principal Mark Frenzel.
Creekside is the first school in the region to implement co-teaching in classes with two special education certified teachers where all students have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). To prepare for Creekside’s co-teaching program, the co-teachers engaged in two days of professional development over the summer where they explored co-teaching models, station rotations, personalized learning, and best practices for co-planning.