Co-teaching is on the rise, and many high school teachers are receiving training in co-teaching practices before the start of the school year.
English language learners may have support in the classroom for vocabulary or comprehension, as well as academic culture and the social practices of learning. Shelley Bonds, director of curriculum and instruction explained that the co-teacher works alongside the classroom teacher, planning and creating a strategy for learning how to learn in English.
Students are helped to organize their thinking in English. They might use a “thinking map”, a visualization of their plan without words so they can put their train of thought to paper and then speak about it. They also learn how to ask a question of the teacher, look up things they don’t understand, and join their peers working on classwork together.
According to Heidi Rahn, administrator of compensatory services, students learn to advocate for their own learning, take initiative, and interact with peers, teachers, and administrators.
“A lot of students don’t ask the question or don’t know that that’s something they need to be asking,” Bonds said. “They assume that doing school means you act like you got it … but then the evidence is in the outcomes of their learning, that they don’t really have it.”
“ … Not only do they not have it for that class but they don’t have it for any class that they’re doing or any other academic learning throughout that day,” Rahn added. “As an English as a Second Language teacher, I’ve seen that (students) start to disengage with what’s happening in the classroom versus excelling.”