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With the right strategies, coaches can leverage co-teaching

By Ryan Gillespie and Jennifer S. Kruger
April 2022
For teachers and coaches, co-teaching can be exciting, rewarding, and full of powerful learning. It offers teachers supported experiences to apply new knowledge in their own contexts, exemplifying active engagement in job-embedded professional learning (Learning Forward, 2011). However, co-teaching is often underused in coaching (Sweeney & Harris, 2016), in part because sharing teaching responsibilities during a lesson can be complex and challenging. Co-teaching requires the coach and teacher to make continuous, intentional decisions about how and when to take the lead. This kind of decision-making requires strong communication between the teacher and the coach, clarity about a teacher’s learning goals, and a deep understanding of possible co-teaching strategies. As part of a project to help mathematics coaches facilitate content-focused coaching cycles, funded by the National

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References

Chapin, S., O’Connor, C., & Anderson, N. (2013). A teacher’s guide for using classroom discussions in math, grades K-6 (3rd ed.). Math Solutions Publications.

Knight, J. (2007). Instructional coaching: A partnership approach to improving instruction. Corwin Press.

Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Author.

Marzano, R.J. & Simms, J.A. (with Roy, T., Heflebower, T., & Warrick, P.B.). (2013). Coaching classroom instruction. Marzano Research.

Senger, E.S. (1999). Reflective reform in mathematics: The recursive nature of teacher change. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 37(3), 199-221.

Smith, M. & Stein, M. (2018). 5 practices for orchestrating productive mathematics discussions (2nd ed.). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Sweeney, D. & Harris, L.S. (2016). Student-centered coaching: The moves. Corwin Press.

West, L. & Cameron, A. (2013). Agents of change: How content coaching transforms teaching and learning. Heinemann.

West, L. & Staub, F.C. (2003). Content-focused coaching: Transforming mathematics lessons. Heinemann.


Ryan Gillespie (rgillespie@cdaschools.org) is an instructional coach at the Coeur d’Alene School District in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and a professional development specialist at the University of Idaho.

Jennifer S. Kruger (jkruger@warner.rochester.edu) is director of mathematics education outreach at the Center for Professional Development & Educational Reform in the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.


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