Collaborative Team Teaching Models & Strategies

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  • 0:03 What Is Team Teaching?
  • 0:49 The Six Team Teaching Models
  • 2:22 Rationale for Team Teaching
  • 2:46 Strategies to Support…
  • 4:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Harkema

Becca teaches special education and is completing her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Many schools are using team teaching in order to support the needs of a variety of students. This lesson will introduce you to the various models of team teaching as well as strategies to support a successful partnership.

What Is Team Teaching?

When educators hear the words 'team teaching,' they might picture two teachers, both standing in front of the classroom delivering the same lesson together to the same group of students. Although this is one model for team teaching, sometimes educators are surprised to learn that there are actually six different models that support the team-teaching approach. These six models are:

  1. One Teach/One Observe
  2. One Teach/One Assist
  3. Station Teaching
  4. Parallel Teaching
  5. Alternative or Differentiated Teaching
  6. Teaming

In this lesson, we will discuss each team-teaching model and why team teaching is used in schools today. We will also review practical strategies for managing the successful team teaching relationship.

The Six Team Teaching Models

One Teach/One Observe

In this model, one teacher is primarily responsible for delivering instruction to the entire class, while the other teacher is serving as an intentional observer. While observing, this teacher can observe and record student behavior, student understanding, or even the teaching teacher's style and behavior.

One Teach/One Assist

Teachers using this model divide the teaching responsibilities so that one teacher delivers the lesson and the other teacher monitors and assists individual students that may need help.

Station Teaching

Station teaching allows each teacher to work with smaller groups of students. The teachers divide the students into groups and create activities for the students to engage with the lesson material along with the assistance of a teacher. These stations can involve the teaching of new content, reinforcement of previously learned material, or challenging activities for students that are ready.

Parallel Teaching

In this model, the teachers divide the class in half. Each teacher works with one of the groups of students, teaching the exact same content. Teachers can decide to divide the group randomly, or to divide the class according to readiness level for the lesson or preferred learning style.

Alternative or Differentiated Lesson

When using this model, one of the teachers teaches the main lesson to the majority of the class. The second teacher works with a small group of students to either provide remedial help or to extend the lesson with more challenging material.


This approach involves both teachers working together to deliver instruction to the same group of students at the same time.

Rationale for Team Teaching

Schools use a team-teaching approach in order to support a variety of students within the general education classroom. Oftentimes, general education and special education teachers can team teach in order to help meet the needs of students with disabilities or gifted students. Additionally, general education teachers can team teach with English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers to support English language learners.

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