Co-Teaching in an Age of Remote Learning

Updated: Jun 22

By Anne Beninghof and Sonya Kunkel

During the next few months, most educators will try remote learning to meet the needs of their students. While virtual co-teaching might be new to you, with a bit of practice and creativity, you can reap many of the same benefits you have already found from co-teaching. Here are a few tips that might help you on your journey. 

Planning is more important than ever before!

Begin by setting up a shared lesson planning document online (for teacher eyes only) so that you can both add to the creation or revision of plans. Your plan format should include a column or space to be very specific about what each teacher is doing throughout the scheduled time. Be sure to decide who will lead a portion of the lesson so that talk is not overwhelming, but still addresses student needs. Also, include a column to record the accommodations and specially designed instruction that will be occurring.

Schedule and hold a weekly planning meeting using your phones or an online tool like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.

Your creative energy will be better if you are hearing or seeing each other, even if for short periods of time. Please make sure your tools have been approved by your district so that they meet confidentiality standards.

Most of the online platforms allow for multiple hosts or a host and panelist so that both of you can have some control over the screen sharing, video feed, etc.

You should be able to split the screen so that both teachers can be visible at times. Be sure to configure your account settings to make this happen. For general education teachers who are not co-teaching all day, you may need to leave your settings this way for the whole day, even if you only need host sharing for parts of the day.

Flipped instruction (recorded lessons watched at asynchronous times) can be a very effective support for students.

Some students may watch these as a pre-teaching experience, while others may watch them once or more after instruction as a review. Parents will also benefit from recorded lessons as a way to help their child with learning. Popular tools include FlipGrid, Screencastify, Doceri, and Educreations, just to name a few.

Here are fifteen suggestions to use if both teachers are teaching “whole group” together.

While one teacher is leading in the virtual co-taught classroom their partner could be:

  1. Writing color-coded notes on the virtual whiteboard

  2. Gathering data on student participation and responses

  3. Verbally clarifying or restating with different terms

  4. Echoing keywords from Teacher A and asking students echo

  5. Restating the learning target three times during the lesson

  6. Asking students to stand, snap, stomp, etc. in response