Author: Deb Bullock | Published on 1 July 2023
Read what a teacher says about this activity:
I love team teaching because I learn so much from my colleagues and it’s fun. Even though we teach the same textbook, we do it differently and use different activities. It’s really interesting to see a different way of doing things. It’s also useful because they see things that I don’t, for example, if learners are interested or not. It’s like having an extra pair of eyes. It’s also good when you have the same interests. Moussa and I are both interested in project work and together we have learnt so much about managing that through team teaching.
[b/w display image of 2 teachers smiling: 1 is teaching at the front of a class; the other is sitting and smiling nearby]
Stage 1: Prepare
Choose a colleague who teaches at a different time from you. Ideally, find a colleague that you trust and who is using the same textbook as you. Suggest team teaching (= teaching the same lesson together) to them.
Stage 2: Plan the lesson
Decide together on the lesson that you will team teach.
You should each decide on a teaching area you would like to develop. E.g. you might focus on introducing new language whilst your colleague wants to improve how they manage pair or group work.
Plan the lesson together. Decide which stages each of you will teach. Discuss your ‘teaching areas’ and how you are going to approach them.
Discuss what you will be observing, and what feedback your partner wants. You do not need to observe all the stages. For example:
Teacher 1 (lesson stage 2: introducing new language)
- Do learners understand? How do you know?
- How do I check understanding?
- Do learners understand better when I use the board, pictures, examples, etc.?
Teacher 2 (lesson stage 4: managing pair or group work)
- Do the learners work well together in their pairs/groups? Are they all participating or are some learners doing all the work?
- Are they speaking English?
- Do I pay attention to all the pairs/groups or only some?
Stage 3: Teach the lesson
Teach the lesson together:
- When you teach your observed stage, focus on the teaching area you want to develop. Notice what happens.
- When it is your turn to observe, sit where you can see what the learners are doing. Focus on the questions and make notes.
Stage 4: Discuss the lesson
Discuss your observations and notes with your colleague. Share feedback. Try to be positive, but also discuss any problems or difficulties. Decide what to do next, e.g. try the same approach again, make small changes to what you did or try something different.
If possible, plan to team teach again so that you can try your ideas and plans. You could do this with your colleague’s class.
Team teaching will not only help you to develop, it will also help you to grow in confidence and build a trusting relationship with your colleague(s). The more you do it, the more you can work on different areas of your teaching and learn from each other.