Expert Answers - 5 Co-teaching formats video

Here are our experts' responses to the questions for the 5 Co-teaching Formats video. The five co-teaching formats: 1) One teach; one support, 2) Teaming (Team teaching), 3) Station teaching, 4) Alternative teaching and 5) Parallel teaching.

Q1: For each of the 5 co-teaching formats, what components of co-teaching did you see?


1. One Teach, one support:

  • Both teachers know what role they are carrying out in the lesson
  • One teacher is leading instruction while the other is providing support to students who need additional help

2. Team teaching:

  • Teachers "play off" each other sharing the instructional role
  • Clear evidence that the teachers planned together in order to integrate roles within the lesson.

3. Station teaching:

  • Each teacher works with a small group of children who rotate among various stations to complete different tasks.
  • Teachers must communicate well with each other to plan the coordination of the different stations.

4. Alternative teaching:

  • One teacher instructions a large group while the other works with a smaller group on related but different content/tasks.
  • Teachers work together to determine the groups, and then coordinate the lesson objectives and expected outcomes, activities, and assessment for the content they are teaching to their individual group. 

5. Parallel teaching:

  • Class is split into 2 groups with each teacher responsible for implementing the same lesson to one of the smaller groups
  • Communication and planning must be done together to develop the parallel structure and to assure that both groups receive the same quality instruction.

Q2: What did you notice about how these co-teachers communicate with each other?


They seem to smoothly interface with the lessons supporting each other’s role. Communication about the lessons, children or activities between the teachers is minimal while the lessons are going on in order to maximize the instructional time for working with students. Both teachers seem alert to the needs of the whole class at all times even when working with a small group. Effective co-teachers do most of their communication with each other before and after a lesson.

5 Co-teaching Formats video screen

Q3: What social skills and dispositions are evident when these co-teachers work together?


  • Co-teachers are trusting that the other teacher is able to fulfill her/his instructional role
  • Co-teachers respect each other, neither has a need to control the classroom over the other, and both implement the same management system consistently.
  • Each teacher is attentive to the needs of the students regardless of the co-teaching format

Q4: Would something have to change if the co-teaching in the video were carried out by a cooperating teacher and a student teacher?


No.The formats remain the same and are selected for a particular lesson based on the lesson content, the individual strengths of each teacher for delivering the content, and the needs of the students in the class. However, accountability for the class remains with the cooperating teacher and so leadership often starts with the classroom teacher and is slowly shifted to the student teacher.