The Peer Review Assignment for EDSP 6644 Educating Exceptional Students helped me become a better educator because it allowed me to research what current educators are working on to improve special education services. I was able to look at a variety of sources, which will be helpful whenever I have a question, or need to research a topic that comes up during my actual teaching in the future. My topic was co-teaching, which includes important aspects of teacher collaboration. It was great to see what this model looks like in reality and the benefits and challenges it can bring. This will help better prepare me when I am involved in similar teaching approaches.
Co-teaching is an effective model but one that requires patience and flexibility. It is important to interact with faculty throughout the school to get different perspectives and opinions that are different from your own. Co-teaching is not a teaching method where teachers should operate independently from one another. Having time to debrief, reflect, and plan is crucial for a successful and positive system. Learning from one another’s methods helps faculty grow as educators and provide best supports for students that need it.
The articles I researched also discussed the importance of professional development and training when adopting the co-teaching model. In order for this model to be effective, teachers need opportunities to learn methods and skills that have positive effects when collaborating. The program should be one that is meaningful and worth a teacher’s time. Educators have many responsibilities and need to be efficient with their duties throughout the day, including a new approach such as co teaching.
The peer review assignment allowed me to analyze and synthesize documents about a topic to learn more about different approaches to special education. I now have a broader view of special education and particular teaching strategies. I will take these concepts with me as I work in the schools and develop different approaches for helping students succeed.