Teachers are discovering that co-teaching adds up to better math instruction at one middle school, as special education students are integrated into mainstream math, social studies, science, and English classes.
At Horizon Middle School, teachers Chelsea Keller and Amanda Mangel are sharing classroom duties and believe that co-teaching has resulted in better quality instruction for their sixth graders. “It actually makes the whole teaching process easier. The kids don’t even see two separate teachers,” Mangel said during a lunch break for their math class.
“We love it!” Keller said.
Keller says that the students get more teacher contact, and finds that the opportunity to work with another teacher and share perspectives on student progress is valuable.
Mangel says that the special education students are finding they can succeed in a traditional classroom,. In addition, “we also hit those kids with lower skills that don’t have an IEP (Individualized Lesson Program),” she said.
The Moorhead School District provided training and planning to facilitate co-teaching skills as part of a pilot project involving 400 students and 24 teachers at Horizon. Co-teaching has been in use for several years, but observations found that it was only occurring in classrooms 11 percent of the time.