Teachers from Fort Plain and Canajoharie learn
co-teaching strategies at seminar in Syracuse
The Fort Plain and Canajoharie Central School
Districts recently sent 13 representatives to a co-teaching seminar
in Syracuse. The seminar was taught by Marilyn Friend, who is
considered a leader in the field. Co-teaching is when two teachers
share a classroom and instructional responsibilities.
Special education director Theodore Arndt said
he thought it was a great opportunity for both districts to learn
about co-teaching and to share ideas about how this technique is
used in both districts.
He said the training provided an overview of
co-teaching as well as detailed information about effectively
planning and implementing co-teaching programs. The training
outlined several types of styles used in the co-teaching model, and
the program was specifically designed for general education
teachers, special education staff, ESL teachers and other
specialists who currently co-teach or plan to.
Many of the teachers from Fort Plain said they
learned a lot at the seminar and took away some vital information.
Beth Cwaikala and Lisa VanValkenburgh agreed that Friend’s
information was “eye opening,” and a few points she made truly stood
out for them.
“We felt her first question, ‘What are you
doing in your co-taught class that one teacher couldn’t do alone?’
is a great question that should be asked of every co-teaching team,”
the teachers wrote in an assessment.
“This question would force the team to look at
their classroom, and Friend’s many suggested strategies, to better
utilize two certified teachers.”
Teacher Tracy Yurkewecz said took away
important information about many concepts including, grouping
strategies, observation data, and electronic planning.
“I am able to walk away with useful
information and I think this we provide a stronger foundation as I
work with my co-teachers to plan future lessons and especially as we
gear up for next year's classes,” she said.