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Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

  • 1.  Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 18 days ago
    What do you and your co-teacher(s) that helps you effectively work together and deliver great care to your student? Looking for some concrete examples. I know "good communication" is key but what does that look like to you?

    If you unfortunately don't have the best relationship with your co-teacher, what do you feel contributes to this and what do you wish could be done differently?

    ------------------------------
    Monica
    Pre-K Teacher
    CA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Wonderful Question. Heres some quick thoughts.

    1. Agreements.  I've found that good clear agreements are the foundation for good relationships at work. Agree on who is doing what, how we do things, address any differences. Clarity is important. A review of responsibilities and procedures (who does what daily) can help a lot.
    2. Catch Them When They're Doing Good.  As a parent and in my work with children that its easy to focus on issues/problems. However, by reinforcing the positives in your relationship the relationship becomes stronger.  
    3. Great Communication.  Of course what you say and how you say it is so important, as you say. Some quick ways that help.
      1. I Statements.  Whenever possible speak in "I Statement."  Such as "I noticed, I believe, I feel, I wish, I would like, I need, I prefer."  Personally I have felt challenged to talk about my needs and I see many of us have this challenge. 
      2. Be Reinforcinghttps://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/   Gottman did incredible relationship research and found that good relationships have at least 5 positive interactions to every negative interaction. Increasing positivity helps. 
      3. Be Validating.  Validating that you understand the other persons perspective feels good to the other person, and when you share that their perspective makes sense (see Harville Hendrix). This does not mean that you have to agree with the person, but that you can understand their perspective and that there is a sense to it. Maybe with other information the person will also see it your way or not. Validation is a sign of respect of the others perspective even though it may not be the same and your thinking. "That makes sense" 
      4. ABA.  Always Be Agreeing. Seek agreement whenever possible and communicate that. "I agree with you."  Being agreeable leads to great feelings in the other person.
      5. Empathize.  Having a heart is a wonderful thing. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/%E2%80%8Bitem/why_the_world_needs_an_empathy_revolution 
      6. Compassion.  Similar to Empathy but doing something about someone elses pain.  https://chopra.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-empathy-sympathy-and-compassion    Also, fantastic new book and research that shows the impact of compassion, especially in healthcare. Compassionomics provides the evidence that one simple tool, compassion, can affect not only the outcomes for our patients, but also the financial health of our organizations and the well-being of our providers."  - Donald Berwick, MD   President emeritus, Institute for Healthcare Improvement    https://www.compassionomics.com/   and great NPR story on it  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/26/717272708/does-taking-time-for-compassion-make-doctors-better-at-their-jobs 


    ------------------------------
    Scott Mesh, PhD, CEO
    Los Niños Services (NYC) www.losninos.com
    Young Child Expo & Conference www.youngchildexpo.com
    scott.mesh@losninos.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottmeshnyc/
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Scott, wow, what a great reply! It was informative, thorough, included linked citations, and was organized to boot! Thank you! You only just replied a few minutes ago so I haven’t visited the links yet. I look forward to it, though.

    I haven’t had “bad” co-teaching experiences but neither were they successful. From your list, I can see areas that I personally need to work on.




  • 4.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Are you talking about co-teachers who are both professionally prepared or are you talking about the relationship between you, the teacher in charge of the classroom, and an assistant teacher or paraprofessional (public school)? What I would suggest is different under different circumstances/relationships, although there are elements that would apply to both situations.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi, Nora. I’m asking about a situation where there are two people with the same title and expected responsibilities. But I’m sure others reading this will want to know what you have to say about those other situations you mentioned.




  • 6.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Monica, so glad  :)
    Thanks so much for saying so and validating my note

    ------------------------------
    Scott Mesh, PhD, CEO
    Los Niños Services (NYC) www.losninos.com
    Young Child Expo & Conference www.youngchildexpo.com
    scott.mesh@losninos.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottmeshnyc/
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 15 days ago
    Scott,
    I found all you said, and I truly mean ALL, extremely informative, clear and totally true.
    I actually apply your 5 points in my classroom and I have a great relationship with my co-worker. Although I am the lead on paper we are equal in our Preschool class in everything we do.
    thank you again,
    Jacqueline


    ------------------------------
    Jacqueline Frig Sankowski
    Lead teacher
    Mendon Child Care Center
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 15 days ago
    Jacqueline,
    thank you so much for letting me know. I really appreciate it.
    Scott

    ------------------------------
    Scott Mesh, PhD, CEO
    Los Niños Services (NYC) www.losninos.com
    Young Child Expo & Conference www.youngchildexpo.com
    scott.mesh@losninos.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottmeshnyc/
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 12 days ago
    Scott, thank you! That was such a helpful response.

    ------------------------------
    Dawne Morison
    Gainesville FL
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 12 days ago
    As someone who taught for 5 years with a co-teacher, sometimes different ones over that time, one important idea to keep in mind is compatibility. I learned to teach alongside others whose personalities differed drastically from mine but the one thing that we did that was critical to our success was to discuss our philosophy of education and what that looks like in the classroom. We also needed to discuss our images of the child and how learning takes place as well as coming to an agreement about how we respond to challenging behavior.

    If co-teachers do not sit down prior to the beginning of the year to discuss their beliefs about teaching and learning, co-teaching will be rocky. Children notice when the two teachers are not agreeing about how the classroom should function as well as if the co-teachers do not get along with each other.

    Planning prior to working together and sharing openly and honestly what each of us believes and how we see the learning unfolding and our role in it is extremely important for the success of the partnership. Might it be a good idea to write all these agreements down - it could help - but it is the talking through beliefs and issues as they come up that is critical.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 9 days ago
    This is great advice, Nora. I've never done what you suggested before. I will put it into practice from now on. How did you handle when you and your co-teacher had different overall views on what you listed in your reply?

    ------------------------------
    Monica
    Pre-K Teacher
    CA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 9 days ago
    At the college level, I had one experience that was a disaster and the students noticed it. My co-teacher and I rarely sat down to discuss what and how we were going to run the class from week to week. I did not know the co-teacher's philosophy or what she thought was important for the students to know and do. I was the full-time faculty member and the co-teacher was an adjunct - perhaps a power differential. I was responsible for creating the syllabus as the full-time person.

    Developing a relationship is key to the success of the co-teaching arrangement. Since our classroom at the time consisted of two half-day sessions, each with 50 students, we shared our thoughts and decided on having one of us the lead for each class, which did not mean we did not co-plan for the class. This was especially important after I spent a year teaching at the UN School in Geneva, Switzerland. I came back with so many new ideas from teaching there and I wanted to try them out with our students who lived in the South Bronx. My co-teacher was very wary of my ideas but we did talk about what I wanted to try. In the end, she told me that I should organize and teach the morning class according to the philosophy that I used for thinking through how the class should unfold (at the time it was a British Integrated philosophy), and my co-teacher would do the afternoon. Later in the year, as my co-teacher saw that the ideas that I brought back to the South Bronx from my experience in Switzerland worked and were more effective than what she was doing and what we had been doing prior to my international experience, my co-teacher asked if I would help her implement my ideas in the class she was leading. The problem was that it was now January and the group in the afternoon was used to functioning in a certain way. Switching at that point would have been very hard. But the important result of this was to show how important the relationship you have with your co-teacher is.

    The other important piece was how we treated our assistant teachers. We included them in all our discussions about the classroom and the learning that was happening.


    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 12 days ago
    Thanks Mr. Scott those are some great ideas I can use and implement them in my center.

    ------------------------------
    Shonda Wilson
    Owner
    Creative Learning Academy LLC
    Quincy FL
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Posted 12 days ago
    Shonda, You're very welcome, Scott

    Re: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?
    Reply All
    Shonda Wilson
    May 5, 2021 1:40 PM
    Shonda Wilson
    Thanks Mr. Scott those are some great ideas I can use and implement them in my center.

    ------------------------------
    Shonda Wilson
    Owner
    Creative Learning Academy LLC
    Quincy FL
    ------------------------------
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    Original Message:
    Sent: 5/5/2021 1:40:00 PM
    From: Shonda Wilson
    Subject: RE: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Thanks Mr. Scott those are some great ideas I can use and implement them in my center.

    ------------------------------
    Shonda Wilson
    Owner
    Creative Learning Academy LLC
    Quincy FL
    ------------------------------

    Original Message:
    Sent: 05-01-2021 10:35 AM
    From: Scott Mesh
    Subject: Tips and advice on how to have a succeful co-teacher working relationship?

    Wonderful Question. Heres some quick thoughts.

    1. Agreements.  I've found that good clear agreements are the foundation for good relationships at work. Agree on who is doing what, how we do things, address any differences. Clarity is important. A review of responsibilities and procedures (who does what daily) can help a lot.
    2. Catch Them When They're Doing Good.  As a parent and in my work with children that its easy to focus on issues/problems. However, by reinforcing the positives in your relationship the relationship becomes stronger.  
    3. Great Communication.  Of course what you say and how you say it is so important, as you say. Some quick ways that help.
      1. I Statements.  Whenever possible speak in "I Statement."  Such as "I noticed, I believe, I feel, I wish, I would like, I need, I prefer."  Personally I have felt challenged to talk about my needs and I see many of us have this challenge. 
      2. Be Reinforcinghttps://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/   Gottman did incredible relationship research and found that good relationships have at least 5 positive interactions to every negative interaction. Increasing positivity helps. 
      3. Be Validating.  Validating that you understand the other persons perspective feels good to the other person, and when you share that their perspective makes sense (see Harville Hendrix). This does not mean that you have to agree with the person, but that you can understand their perspective and that there is a sense to it. Maybe with other information the person will also see it your way or not. Validation is a sign of respect of the others perspective even though it may not be the same and your thinking. "That makes sense" 
      4. ABA.  Always Be Agreeing. Seek agreement whenever possible and communicate that. "I agree with you."  Being agreeable leads to great feelings in the other person.
      5. Empathize.  Having a heart is a wonderful thing. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/%E2%80%8Bitem/why_the_world_needs_an_empathy_revolution 
      6. Compassion.  Similar to Empathy but doing something about someone elses pain.  https://chopra.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-empathy-sympathy-and-compassion    Also, fantastic new book and research that shows the impact of compassion, especially in healthcare. Compassionomics provides the evidence that one simple tool, compassion, can affect not only the outcomes for our patients, but also the financial health of our organizations and the well-being of our providers."  - Donald Berwick, MD   President emeritus, Institute for Healthcare Improvement    https://www.compassionomics.com/   and great NPR story on it  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/26/717272708/does-taking-time-for-compassion-make-doctors-better-at-their-jobs 


    ------------------------------
    Scott Mesh, PhD, CEO
    Los Niños Services (NYC) www.losninos.com
    Young Child Expo & Conference www.youngchildexpo.com
    scott.mesh@losninos.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottmeshnyc/