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Albright School of Education and its Co-teaching Model
One thing that has always differentiated CityU’s Albright School of Education is how they train teachers. This has likely lead to CityU being among the top five producers of teachers in the state of Washington according to PESB. To learn more about this training, we caught up with Gary Benedetti who is a faculty and program coordinator for the Albright School of Education. Here is what he had to say:
CityU: What is your role at CityU?
I am a Program and Placement Coordinator, currently working at the Tacoma site. In this role I am the advisor for two BA Cohorts in Tacoma and coordinate and place BA and MIT candidates from both the Bellevue and Tacoma campuses.
CityU: What do you teach?
I am the instructor for all of the Bachelor of Art seminar courses and also teach the Introduction to Field Experiences (EDU 350).
CityU: What is your favorite thing to teach?
I enjoy working with the BA candidates through all phases of their program.
CityU: What is something you think differentiates CityU from other schools?
To me the two biggest pieces that differentiate CityU from other Universities is 1) our use of Practicing Professionals as our instructional Faculty. 2) We provide more field experiences for our candidates to learn and practice their skills. For their second year, the initial focus is to find a placement in one school and often with one teacher for the year. This provides for the opportunity for candidates and mentors to develop and practice co-teaching skills.
CityU: What is Co-teaching?
- The traditional roles of mentor teacher and student teacher will change to that of co-teachers, where both are actively involved in all aspects of instruction.
- Cooperating teacher and Teacher candidate plan, collaborate, teach and assess together, with the candidate gradually assuming the responsibilities of the lead teacher.
- Two teachers in the classroom using a variety of instructional configurations designed to meet student needs.
- A positive impact on the academic achievement of the students by having two teachers facilitating learning in the classroom the majority of the time.
- Placement with quality mentor teachers, who model standard’s based instruction.
- Solo teaching is encouraged, as that it provides time for the teacher candidate to gain independent experience. This can take on many variations, it is up to the teacher and candidate to determine how best to incorporate it into their day.
- 1 teach-1 observe-One teacher has primary responsibility while other gathers specific observational information on students or instructing teacher.
- 1 teach-1 assist-One teacher has primary instructional responsibility while the other assists students with work, monitors behaviors, or corrects assignments.
- Station teaching–Each teacher instructs one group of students, then groups rotate, many include an independent station.
- Parallel Teaching –Each teacher instructs half the students, using same instructional material and same teaching strategy.
- Supplemental teaching –Allows one teacher to work with students at their expected grade level, while the other teacher works with those who need to be retaught, extended or remediated.
- Differentiated (Alternative) teaching –two different approaches to teaching the same information or outcomes.
- Team teaching – Well planned, team taught lessons, invisible flow of instruction. Both are equally active in the lessons.
CityU: As an educator, what do you think are the benefits of co-teaching?
Co-teaching enables us to…
- Reduce student to teacher ratio
- Have greater opportunities to differential instruction
- Increase student achievement, as research has proven
- Benefit of regular classroom teacher in the room throughout experience
- Emphasis on collaboration, communication, and most importantly, increases in student learning.
CityU: I understand we have a partnership with the Auburn School District? What does that look like?
The partnership was initiated by the Superintendent of Auburn Schools through the leadership of Lynn Olsen. To start, it is a partnership with two schools, Dick Scobee Elementary and Rainier Middle School. City U conducted a 1 day training session for teachers from each school on Co-teaching. Candidates are usually placed with mentors who have been through the training. One of the biggest advantages is in our open and supportive communication. We have built a very positive relationship with the administrators, so that we can work together to address needs as they arise.
CityU: Do we have other partnerships with other school districts, in the nearby area?
We have a similar partnership with the Tacoma School District.
A big thank you to Gary for telling us more about these partnerships and co-teaching. If you’re interested in becoming a teacher or being trained in this way, check out our education programs here.