Preparing Students for Co-Teaching

Why is it important to prepare students for co-teaching?
One of the critical components of a co-taught classroom is the climate created for students who are included, especially if they are coming from a self-contained model.

How can we prepare students for co-teaching?
Previous research has shown that allowing students to visit the classroom prior to starting in the class can be helpful, if you are including students in the middle of the year. You also might want to consider having successful students from the previous class/year come and talk to students about their experience in the class. 

Prior to beginning to co-teach, consider using some of the following techniques to help prepare students for the co-taught setting. Many times schools spend hours of time and research to ensure that teachers are ready for a co-taught setting, but often schools fail to prepare students for this new type of service delivery.

Tools to assist in helping students prepare for co-teaching
Use the forms below to create a plan for students to assist them with the transition prior to co-teaching. The tools provided allow you to prepare students for a more inclusive setting and are based on a study conducted by Monda-Amaya, Dieker & Reed, 1999. 

1. Using the form provided below, have students, either after a visit or a talk with a student who has been in the class previously, identify 2-3 goals they will self-monitor daily. These goals could come from the students' IEPs or could be goals they feel they need to work on based on their visit or discussion with a peer. Consider having students' performance on these daily goals count as part of their grade.

Click here for the student goal form. 

2. Prior to including students into the general education setting, compile a list, either with the co-teacher or ideally from observations and discussions with successful students, of what will be needed for students with disabilities to be successful. Once you have a clear list of behaviors, consider conducting role plays, setting individual goals, and teaching strategies to assist students with these skills. 

Click here for a chart to use in determining behaviors that are critical for students to be successful in each area.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).