Pam Roland from UVA is working on ways to support teachers who are trying to collaborate and finding many challenges. She has some interesting ideas, but is starting from far behind where we are now. Sessions like this and discussions with teachers from other schools and other school districts always serve to remind me of how very lucky I am to teach where I do. The things that frustrate me always seem so petty when I talk to others. It is much too easy to forget how very wonderful our school is and how hard we have worked to make it this way.
The one thing that struck me from Roland's presentation was the roles/tasks fro regular ed teachers and the specialists who work in their rooms. Her expectations for coteaching are not the same as ours at our school, but she makes some good points. One thing she says is that the regular ed teacher needs to make a space for the specialist. As we set up our rooms and consider all the things we need to have and organize for, it is important to remember that if we want specialists to feel comfortable working in our rooms, they need a space to call their own. Being a homeless teacher can not be conducive to coteaching.