It has become more common that teacher preparation programs embrace co-teaching models, where pre-service teachers and host teachers work together to maximize student achievement potential. The intern and the host teacher working together can be a valuable experience for students when co-teaching occurs. Some benefits to co-teaching include a reduced student to teacher ratio, increase in student achievement, and learning from each other’s strengths. Suggested co-teaching approaches* are listed below:

One Teach/One Observe: In the beginning of the internship, it is important for the host teacher to model effective teaching strategies for the intern. While the host teacher is teaching, the intern can observe effective teaching practices, while also taking note of student responses. Co-teachers who implement this approach to co-teaching benefit from one person observing what students are doing while another is teaching. Data collected during this approach can result in powerful gains in lesson development.

One Teach/One Assist: One teacher teaches a group of students, while the other is assisting. This may include helping the teacher reach students who need extra support during the lesson. While one teacher teaches, the other may be circulating and guiding students.

Parallel Teaching: Both teachers are teaching the same content, but to different groups of students at the same time. This approach reduces the student to teacher ratio. One teacher may be teaching a lesson to half of the class, while the other teacher is teaching the same lesson to the other half of the class.

Station Teaching: Both teachers are teaching at the same time, but different concepts, and to different students.

Alternative Teaching: One teacher is teaching a larger group of students while another is teaching a smaller group of students.

Team Teaching: Both teachers deliver the instruction to the same group of students at the same time. The lesson is co-presented by both teachers.


*Friend, M., & Cooke, L. (2009). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals (6th Ed.).Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.