Extend: Team teaching

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EXTEND

To say something about the topic

Approx. ?? minutes

What is team teaching?

TASK: Take a moment to reflect on the question: What is team teaching? Then compare your answer with the suggestion below.

What is team teaching?

Team teaching is when two teachers or more plan to teach together. It can take many forms, for example: 

  • Planning and teaching a lesson together. 
  • Planning a lesson together and each teacher teaching it to a different class.
  • Planning a whole course together but then teaching individual lessons separately, reducing workloads and playing to teachers’ strengths. 

How can team teaching help with teacher development?

TASK: Jot down some ideas of the benefits of team teaching for teacher development in your notebook. Then compare your ideas to ours: are our ideas similar? Is there anything you have thought about we have not added?

How can team teaching help with teacher development? ​

  • It is a great learning opportunity as you can learn a lot from your team teacher: you can become more creative as you bounce ideas off each other and consider different ways of approaching the lesson, looking at materials and creating tasks. 
  • It can reduce workload as you can divide up what you are responsible for in a lesson / course. 
  • It improves the quality of teaching: in team teaching you not only learn from each other but you are also more accountable of how you approach your teaching: as responsibility is shared, teachers often feel that they cannot let their teacher partner down so they ‘up the game’ and try to be better teachers. 
  • Learners can see different teaching styles and learn to value that difference.

Reflect

Have you ever worked in a team? What did you like about it? What did you find challenging?

Working in teams: key considerations

TASK: The following criteria should be considered in team teaching. Using this criteria, what advice would you give someone who would like to explore team teaching? Make a note of your ideas before clicking to see some suggested answers. 

Boundaries

  • Establish a clear division of roles: who is doing what and when? 
  • Fix a regular time during the day/week to meet and plan lessons
  • Agree on the best channels of communication (e.g. email, in person, chat…)

Workloads

  • Give and take: share materials and ideas. Be open to learn from the other person. 
  • Balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Discuss what can / can’t be done in the time available and your other responsibilities.

Division of responsibilities

  • Decide who is doing what and when (e.g. who is setting up a task, who is conducting feedback? How will you divide up the lesson that you teach together? (one exercise each or divide the lesson into the first half and the second half?)
  • Alternate (e.g. should the same teacher always start the lesson or can this vary?)
  • If there is marking to do, how are you going to divide up the marking?
  •  

Other

  • Learn about your partner teacher as a person. 
  • Be generous, respect and trust each other. 
  • Model good rapport between you and your partner teacher when teaching together: learners can learn a lot from your natural interactions with the other teacher. 
  • Make everything as simple as possible (tasks, tutor roles, etc.)
  • Have fun and enjoy the experience!

Reflect

What makes a good team teacher?

Attributes of a good team teacher

TASK: The following words describe what a good team teacher is but the vowels in the words have been removed. Can you guess what the words are?

Team teacher roles

TASK: A good teacher also plays different roles such as support, buddy, peer, cheerleader, assistant, observer and lurker. Which role do you think applies best to the following situations?

Learn more about team teaching

British Council (n.d). Team Teaching. 

Stateuniversity.com (2023). Team Teaching: Advantages, Disadvantages