As a concept, co-teaching is sometimes difficult to explain. Part of the reason it’s a challenge is because it’s so unstandardized—the way one school district applies co-teaching might be really different from the way another district goes about it.
Beth Lakretz is a special education consultant who’s trying to demystify co-teaching and other key principles of inclusive education. She sees co-teaching as an equitable partnership between two experts—usually a general-education teacher and a special-education teacher—who develop lesson plans and instruct students as a team. I welcomed Beth to the podcast for this episode to talk about her take on co-teaching and how she helps parents and educators collaborate effectively according to their unique roles, expertise, and overall belief systems.
We also discussed education policy, which is one of the biggest barriers to true inclusion today. When legislation is incompatible with what school administrators are allowed to do, it hurts students and teachers alike; keeping natural proportions in the classroom becomes a challenge and segregation is inevitable.
Beth is a trained facilitator and person-centered planner who received her BS in Social Work from Cornell University, and MS in Special Education from Syracuse University. After teaching students with mild to severe disabilities in inclusive and self-contained classrooms, she began consulting with schools through the efforts of families that wanted their children with severe disabilities included in their neighborhood schools. Since 1992, she’s been running Lakretz Creative Support Services to develop and implement dynamic workshops and coaching sessions. LCSS specializes in co-teaching, differentiated instruction, modifying curriculum, community building, person-centered planning, and systems change.
Beth and I had a great chat that touched on many different aspects of inclusive education, including co-teaching, policy, collaboration, and more—listen now!
Thanks for Listening!
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Special thanks to Beth Lakretz for joining me this week. Until next time!