This year I have had the pleasure of coteaching with one of the most influential, positive, and extraordinary teachers. Mrs. Lisa Willis and I have been collaboratively teaching language arts in her 2nd grade classroom on a daily basis. Our partnership enables us to reach heightened levels of instruction that encompasses our passions and students' individual strengths. We have collaborated lesson plans together, intervention and whole group strategies, and have incorporated a leadership initiative that is aligned with The Leader in Me and The Seven Habits of Happy Kids (S. Covey).
Walther-Thomas, Korinek, McLaughlin, and Williams (2000) state that "A collaborative teaching style does not necessarily come naturally. Visible leadership at the top levels is vital to the success of an inclusive/collaborative initiative. An atmosphere of trust is essential if teams are to work effectively".
There are seven features that are fundamental to appropriate and effective inclusion programs (2000). They are the following:
7 Features of Effective Inclusion Programs
• Collaborative culture
• Shared leadership
• Coherent vision
• Comprehensive planning
• Adequate resources
• Sustained implementation
• Continuous evaluation and improvement
Moreso, Friend and Cook (2004) note the significance and true benefits for coteaching:
Benefits of Co-teaching:
I am thankful for this opportunity to work with a colleague where we emulate the energy of one another using a seamless reciprocated unchoreographed script. Thank you Mrs. Willis - you truly are powerful.
Gina Pepin, Ed.D.
TItle I Blog: