Fieldwork with Experienced Teachers
At Millikin University, the School of Education uses the co-teaching model for all of our teacher candidates during their student teaching experience and many of the preceding internships. Co-teaching is defined as two teachers working together with groups of students – sharing the planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction, as well as the physical space. Millikin University has worked collaboratively with St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, a leader in the implementation of co-teaching, to make this model a reality at Millikin.
With co-teaching, teacher candidates share all aspects of teaching with the cooperating teacher. The cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate plan lessons, using co-teaching strategies, which benefit the students in the classroom. Candidates see, on a daily basis, how best practices are used in the classroom and learn to implement them under the guidance of the cooperating teacher on a continuing basis. Collaboration and communication skills are greatly improved between the teacher candidate and the cooperating teacher. Co-teaching is an attitude of sharing – sharing the classroom and sharing the students. Co-teachers are always thinking, “We are both teaching!”
- Aids in consistent classroom management
- Leads to greater student participation and engagement
- Enhances collaboration skills
- Increases instructional options for all students
- Reduces student/teacher ratio
- Enhances ability to meet student needs in a large and diverse classroom
- Fully uses the experience and expertise of the cooperating teacher
Because of the skills that they learn in co-teaching, Millikin teacher candidates graduate and enter the profession with stronger communication and collaboration skills, better-developed classroom management techniques, and higher levels of confidence. This model benefits the teacher candidate and the cooperating teacher, as well as the students in the classroom.