Previously, I wrote about our self-contained classes, and today I'm going to give you a peek at the other special education program housed in my building: Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT). ICT goes beyond the typical consultant teacher or resource room programming, where students with disabilities are removed ("pulled out") from the classroom to receive special education services. The ICT model has two teachers in the classroom full-time, one general education and one special education, to service the needs of all students. Both teachers equally teach lessons and curriculum, and both teachers help to differentiate instruction. The special education teacher is not viewed as an aide or helper only for "those kids," but as a teacher of all students.
Dr. Marilyn Friend's DVD The Power of 2, which gives a great overview of the benefits of ICT and provides training on six different models of how two teachers can work together to instruct their class. It also has a lot of testimonials of co-teachers who love the model (a great plug for the system, eh?).
In my building, we have one Integrated Co-Teaching classroom each in third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. This is our first year with this many classes in a full ICT model. At any given time in our ICT classes, you can see either teacher doing a lesson, one teacher with a group of students (while the other teaches the rest of the class) reinforcing skills, pre- or re-teaching materials, providing advanced work, or giving curriculum based assessments, or both teachers teaching together. In our seventh and eighth grades, the ICT teacher travels with the students from subject to subject, teaching lessons, reinforcing concepts, and working alongside students or in small groups. In eighth grade, we also have a resource room period at the end of the day, where the ICT teacher can go over skills, assist with assignment completion, and do post-secondary preparation work (filling out job and practice college applications and do transition planning).
Do you have Integrated Co-Teaching in your building? How is it working? What benefits or challenges are your teachers reporting?
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