Co-teaching is like a marriage-when its good its very good and when its bad you want to poke your eyes out.
I heard that line for the first time the summer before I taught my first inclusion class. Up until that being a special ed teacher meant you got your own room with your own set of SweatHogs. (You have to being nearing retirement to get that reference- but SweatHogs were the band of misfits students in a late 70s tv sitcom where John Travolta got his start.)
Anyway life changes- Once I wrote the whole history of my career in special ed (at least up until the time I wrote it.)
The computer I wrote it on no longer loads up- it probably exists in our basement where my husband collects broken computer equipment but I can't get to it
It probably isn't that interesting but it traces my progression through Special Education classrooms from a converted kitchen classroom in a broken down house blocks away from the public school building, to a basement storeroom, to a space in a "wing" separate from the mainstream school right up to the point where if space would allow my self contained special ed class would be located right next to the mainstream ones. If space didn't allow then I got to teach in a converted bathroom lounge. (Long story- Maybe I will post it someday)
I taught special education in all those places.
But back to my co-teaching is a marriage story. The first time I heard it my soon to be co-teacher leaned forward and whispered "I'm divorced"
But she worked out Not all do. Today I was with Elma's class- co-teaching. Or thinking about poking my eyes out actually.
After the literacy coach and I spent two precious planning periods working out lessons for this week, the co-teacher somehow chucked it all and did a freelance lesson on making up themes for Romeo and Juliet.
So while Kenya napped and Nathan texted away on the phone, I searched the internet for ideas that made sense. One teacher message board site had a clip from a teacher who said he used fables to illustrate the idea of theme:
Me: You know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?
Elma: The one where the Tortoise starts off slow and the rabbit gets all Gucci and Prada and then goes to sleep and the Turtle wins?
Me: Yeah that one- I think? What do you think the theme of that story is?
Elma: Never wear Gucci if you're in a race.
And never try to salvage a bad lesson in the middle of a co-teaching class.
Especially if there are sharp objects around.