Navigating the ICT World
Navigating the ICT World: An Educator Speaks
3 Realistic paths to creating a more effective ICT classroom:
- Create flexible roles and responsibilities for all educators in the ICT classroom
- Map out the teaching partnership using a 7 step process throughout the year
- Integrate different co-teaching structures to maximize instructional impact
Perhaps your teaching degree program never really gave you the specifics on the ICT model, or your school's administration hasn't given you much support surrounding your ICT program, or you just really love working by yourself. We know. The realities of New York City schools present obstacles and hardships when trying to maximize the effectiveness of the ICT service model, but given open-mindedness, teamwork, and some gumption, the ICT model can work. Just as every single student has something different to bring to the table, every single educator has something different to offer as well. When all educators in the classroom exhibit equal ownership and put forth their expertise, research shows that students excel in ICT classrooms. If you're feeling territorial, don't. According to Murawski and Decker (2004), "Any collaborative relationship can be doomed if one partner dominates, or leads in a direction that the other partner is not expecting." Students are the ones who ultimately miss out when both teachers and para professionals are not working to their full potential. Keep in mind: equal does not necessarily mean the same, and given the current demands of the average NYC classroom, roles and responsibilities shift from traditional to flexible, and can become interchangeable between the General Educator, Special Educator, and Para Professional within the ICT classroom.
Co-teaching is journey, not a destination
Listen below to hear about one NYC educator's ICT experience.
Kass Minor is an inclusive educator in New York City, and has been teaching and learning in one of Brooklyn's Public Schools since 2006. She is mostly inspired by her students, but is also motivated by the adults she works with as well. For the majority of her teaching career, she has taught as a member of an Integrated Co-Teaching Team across all subjects with all different kinds of teachers. From newbies to veterans, from the open-minded to conservative, teaching in a team hasn't necessarily been a smooth process. In fact, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride. Despite the potholes in the road, Kass has learned a lot about Integrated Co-Teaching along her adventure, and is excited to share her insights with you in hopes of creating a more realistic approach to effective integrated co-teaching.
Murawski, W. W., & Decker, L. A. (2004). Tips and Strategies for Co-teaching at the Secondary Level. Teaching Exceptional Students, 36(5), 52-58.