Perceptions of high school general and special education co-teaching team members regarding co-teaching

This study included the interviews of 15 public school co-teachers from 3 different high schools in the Temecula Valley Unified School District consisting of members form 9 co-teaching teams Participants consisted of 8 general educators and 7 special educators, some participants had more than one co-teaching partner, in this event both partners were interviewed. Each member of the study was asked a series of questions to better understand; how to create a positive learning environment, management of student learning and behavior, their use of the four co-teaching approaches, supportive, parallel, complementary and team teaching. Participants were encouraged to share honest beliefs to all 15 questions. Their answers were then compiled and examined to identify common themes present throughout all interviews, themes unique to general educators and themes unique to special educators. Results revealed that there were more common themes than unique themes. Common themes were: job assignment, non identification of students, two teachers available for help, fun and enthusiasm, involvement of both teachers, mutual respect, students liked co-teaching classes, immediate and consistent behavior management, standards set early, no differentiation in expectations, high expectations for all students, oral and creative assessments, supportive teaching usually practiced with general educator as the curricular expert, split class and cooperative group monitor most often used for the parallel approach, complementary teaching approach used 100% for class management, shared grading and planning, complementary and team-teaching preferred, informal planning, common prep time, proximity of teacher location, need for administrative support.