College of Education and Human Development wordmark.

Co-Teaching planning

Planning for co-teaching is VERY important. Use the planning time wisely, focusing on lessons to be co-taught. Prioritize the time and don’t allow outside distractions to take over.

The goal is to have the cooperating teacher and teacher candidate actively engaged with students as much as possible. However, EVERY teacher candidate DOES need time to manage the classroom on their own.

Full time responsibility means the teacher candidate leads all aspect of the classroom, including how the cooperating teacher and other adults will be involved.


The diagram below describes the roles of the cooperating teacher (CT) and the teacher candidate (TC) during the co-teaching process.

Phase I: Beginning

CT is the "instructional lead"

  • Determine content to be taught
  • Plan lessons and share materials with TC
  • Decide what co-teaching strategy to use, with TC’s input
  • Communicate with families to welcome your co-teaching TC

Phase II: Middle

TC is the instructional "lead"

  • Plan and lead lessons in the co-teaching team for the period of time the licensure program requires
  • Communicate with CT to pre-determine which co-teaching strategies will be used in the classroom
  • Complete TPA and other

Phase III: End

TC shares/phase out the instructional "lead"

  • Share or slowly give up the lead instructional role in the co-teaching relationship
  • Co-plan and co-teach using the strategies
  • Complete other university requirements
  • Provide feedback to the university supervisor

Phase I: Beginning

TC is to:

  • Communicate and co-plan daily with the CT
  • Engage students in learning by trying out each co-teaching strategy at least twice with your CT
  • Build relationships within the school community
  • Balance coursework requirements with the school’s expectations

Phase II: Middle

CT is to

  • Provide guidance regarding content and standards to be addressed
  • Co-plan and support TC in their adoption of the role of instructional leader
  • Engage students using pre-determined co-teaching strategy
  • Provide feedback

Phase III: End

CT is to

  • Share or slowly take back the primary responsibility of instructional lead in the co-teaching relationship
  • Continue to co-plan and co-teach using the strategies
  • Provide feedback to the TC and to the university supervisor

Print out the Co-Teaching Phases diagram.

Next: Frequently Asked Questions

© 2012, St. Cloud State University. Used with permission by the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ Office of Teacher Education (OTE) for the CEHD Partner Network