Collaborative Teaching in Action
South Houston High School, Pasadena ISD, Texas
After working with one of Stetson & Associates, Inc.’s Associates, Lynn Hill, on how to better the instructional relationship between collaborative teachers, South Houston High School Science demonstrated excellent team teaching practices in their first week back to school. To instigate this transformation, the high school administrators made a significant change in collaborative teachers planning schedules. By scheduling most support teachers to have the same conference period as the general education teacher they teach with, administrators have already seen great improvement in the overall rapport between teachers and increased team planning. This is demonstrated in a science lesson observed by Science Content Specialist, Martha Griffin the first week of school.
Mr. Pavalonis and Mr. Butcher, collaborative Science teachers at South Houston High School, were teaching structures and functions of biomolecules the first week of the school year. As a result of recent assessment changes, this readiness standard has to be taught at a deeper level this year than has ever been done before. These teachers designed stellar activities that I had the fortune of observing. They started with a formative pre-assessment at the beginning of class, and a summative at the end with active expressions. It was clear that over 90% of the kids mastered all of this complicated material. I was so impressed I videotaped the class later, and invited Mary McCorvey, our secondary SPED specialist from administration to observe the class as well. She also videotaped the class, so she would be able to use pieces of it in her district trainings. She was particularly impressed that a visitor would not be able to tell who the teacher was and who the co-teacher was, nor would you be able to identify which students were in special education.
Positive Impact on Students
All students received instruction and support from both teachers, and all students were able to access the higher level concepts being taught. The team process is so strong in our department that it is definitely translating to great things in the classrooms. Martha commented, “It’s very gratifying to see our new curriculum come alive in such meaningful ways for our students!”