Squashing Misconceptions

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Things are getting a bit frantic for me now - teachers are getting their resources together and are beginning to share them with me. I'm geeking out a little bit. Lets face it, I emailed them over 9000 times asking for resources, time to meet, setting up the Google Folder, etc. THEY BETTER GET ON IT!

I've already discussed my summer co-planning, so if you're curious as to how that turned out, check out that post here. It's my basic format for co-planning.

Something I really want to address in this post are some misconceptions that teachers seem to be having about co-teaching and co-planning so far. These are my responses, thus what you'd argue is probably different.

  • "You're only in the room for that ONE hour, why do we have to co-plan for the rest?"
    This all goes back to the IEP. Yes, I'm only in there for an hour based on minutes, but students who do not have minutes still have accommodations and modifications that we must legally provide. Thus, I will still be bothering you for lesson plans for every period since I need to know what you're doing, when you're doing it, and how I can rearrange my schedule to meet your needs.
  • "You expect me to take time out of instruction to sit down and fill out a behavior reflection sheet with someone that is on your caseload - this isn't my job."
    Yes this is your job, homie. Yes, that child is on my caseload, but we are co-teachers. We are EQUALLY responsible for the outcomes of this child's education, including his behavior(s). If you do not "check" his behavior, all instruction will flounder since this child's behavior is all about causing distractions. We can sit down and set up a procedure together that makes you feel comfortable, however, there is a legal document that requires all his teachers to provide this support for him. I'm sorry you feel that way.
  • "This isn't really co-teaching, you're not here full time."
    False. Co-teaching does not have to mean that I am in the room with you every day, all day. Is it ideal? Yes. Is it feasible at the moment? No. What we should be saying is "This isn't the most ideal co-teaching situation, but let's sit down and figure out our teaching styles, strengths, and how we can set up a classroom where we both know exactly what's going on and how we can meet each students need." Co-teaching is when two teachers, a curriculum specialist (gen ed; totally just made this up) and a learning specialist (sped)  can plan together to ensure that all students have an equal chance at accessing rigorous curricula.
  • "Well, I've got # of years teaching girlfriend, this isn't going to be effective."
    I can't sit here and try to sell something to you. I can sit here and tell you that I am your co-teacher and I want you to give me a chance. If it doesn't work, okay, we can revisit it. If you don't sell into inclusion, here's the data and research. If you don't like co-teaching, I'm sorry you feel that way but I'm going to try and make the most of everything that lands on my doorstep. At the end of the day, we are here for the children. Your years of teaching is a great accomplishment, but if you're unwilling to budge you've clearly lost sight of why you're here. Learning comes from experimenting and testing different strategies that we have in our toolbox, something teachers tell students to do all the time.
This year, I'm putting my foot down. I'm not letting this "stuff" get in the way of what is important, the students. My goal is to nip all this in the bud, and really emphasize to my co-teachers that even though we may not agree with inclusion, co-teaching, co-planning, standards based grading, emails, donut types, favorite colors, which Hogwarts House is the best, etc, but we still need to move forward and give our best for the kids. I refuse to get stuck on this "stuff!"


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