There are several ways to think of Team Teaching:
- Two teachers sit down together and discuss what they want to study, what activities and materials will be used, who will lead which parts, etc.. The two teachers share responsibility for preparation and teaching, each providing their own strengths.
- One teacher is always the lead teacher, making the Lesson Plans and being the T1, or lead, teacher in the classes. The teachers don’t share responsibilities, other than the T2 teacher doing occasional support in the classroom. This is what ALTs sometimes call being a ‘tape recorder.’ Conversely, the situation could be that the ALT is alone in front of the class, and the HRT or JTE is almost uninvolved in the class, except for probably choosing the content of the class and asking the ALT to prepare the Lesson Plan and materials.
- The two teachers take turns preparing for and leading classes. Today, teacher A writes the Lesson Plan, prepares materials and leads the class. Tomorrow, teacher B writes the Lesson Plan, prepares materials and leads the class.
- One of the teachers takes the lead role in Lesson Planning, but asks the T2 teacher to prepare content-focused activities and materials. The lead T1 teacher generally leads the class, but clearly signals when the T2 teacher is to take the lead role for the prepared activity.
It is not really fair to say that one way is better than another. In practice, you and your team teacher may, over time, have any or all of these work relationships.
In upcoming posts I will discuss in what situations each of these models may be advantageous.