Recently the idea of Co-Teaching seems to be under scrutiny in our school. I question where this is coming from. Rather than "trusting" administrators we should trust each other. And if we have doubts we should visit each other's classes. From what I heard in the past, and experienced myself, some of the most effective classes have been co-taught classes.
Eg. 1 SCART. Science and ART. When I first came to QHST Varriale and Fox shared the products and the accolades of the co-taught science and art class from the year past. I was impressed with the outcomes and the freedom teachers had. I was also impressed with the level of respect each teacher had for each other. It seemed that using the time in an effective manner was an appropriate use.
Eg. 2 Current Events. Swetten and I co-taught a three period elective on current events. Woolsey and O'Malley observed this and can both testify as to how effective this class was. Students were asked to present each week and deep philosophical issues guised in the veil of current events were being discussed each class. We infused technology. Each teacher worked to the best of their abilities and the result was something the seniors who were freshmen at the time still talk about today.
Admittedly this doesn't always work as smoothly. Teachers need time to plan. We don't always get stuck in an elevator together. Yet despite the common planning time the "Journal" class being created with Bachinsin and Mayo looks simply amazing. Students are given an opportunity to express themselves through art and written expression.
Conversely teaching one period electives to students who have hole in their program can be a nightmare. I'll never forget the various "PROJECT LEARN" classes. I still to this day have a one period elective named "Research and Technology". Admittedly its quite hard for me to remain motivated for this class even though its probably the one topic I hold dear to my heart. Students don't want to be there, its early and seniors are aware we are just filling holes. Hopefully in the future we could at least consider a schedule that allows for real electives. Hopefully re-considering past proposed schedules is on the horizon.