A hallmark of Sheridan is our collaborative learning environment. Students, teachers and administrators work together to create a vibrant learning community for everyone. In order to support collaboration, Sheridan uses co-teaching and teaming models of instruction. All homerooms from kindergarten through eighth grade have at least two lead teachers who collaborate in planning, instruction and assessment for reading, writing and social studies. All math, science and art classes from kindergarten through third grade are also co-taught. Additional classes are generally taught in smaller sections by one lead teacher who teams with other departmental members in planning and assessment.
In both models, all teachers are lead teachers and equal partners. Co-teaching and teaming allow for greater differentiation, more thoughtful planning, instruction and assessment, and more individualized attention for each child.
Teachers thoughtfully utilize different methods of co-teaching based on the personalities and preferences of the teachers, the nature of a particular lesson, and the needs of the students. Below are some common co-teaching models:
Teachers collaborate to jointly present a lesson to students. The teachers are comfortable with their roles, the content and the students, and they are able to pick up on nuances and read each other’s signals so that they essentially teach as one.
Instructor & Observer
One teacher takes primary instructional responsibility for a lesson, while the other observes and gathers data on students, their performance, their interactions and their behavior.
Instructor & Floater
One teacher has primary instructional responsibility for a lesson while the other assists students with their work, monitors behavior, and gives feedback.
One teacher presents the lesson in standard format. The other works with either students who have difficulty mastering the material (simplifying and otherwise adapting instruction to meet their needs) or those who have already mastered the material (to provide enrichment and extension).
Each teacher instructs half the student group; the same content is taught simultaneously to all students though instructional methods may vary.
Teachers divide instructional content into two parts. Each teacher instructs half the class in one area. Both groups of students rotate through instruction with each teacher.
What Co-Teaching Means for Students
Sheridan’s academic rigor is a product of the co-teaching model. Co-teaching challenges instructors to meet the needs of all students, provides support for complex instruction, and builds a unique classroom dynamic of both nurture and awareness of learners.