Developing a Reflective Framework
What is a reflective framework?
A reflective framework is simply a tool that consists of questions that you and your co-teacher believe are important to think about related to evaluating your co-teaching. This framework should be based on questions that both teachers believe are important to ensure they are meeting the needs of all students.
What is the importance of creating a reflective framework?
Too many times in a co-teaching relationship no clear questions or directions are created for teachers to evaluate, dialogue about, or think about their success or lack of success in co-taught environments. By collaboratively developing a set of guiding questions to be addressed on a regular basis, this tool will allow the team to make changes or further refine their co-teaching throughout the experience.
Steps in Developing Reflective Frameworks
- These frameworks should typically consist of questions that a teacher could address in 5-10 minutes.
- These frameworks should focus on issues that teachers want to address versus areas they are told to address.
- The questions within the framework should be developed utilizing collaboration with a peer.
- These frameworks could change as teachers' needs, students' needs, and the dynamics of the classroom change.
- Once a teacher feels he/she has mastered the questions within the framework, new questions should be developed, or as new issues arise additional questions should be added.
- Similar frameworks can be developed for reflective teams to use to evaluate their interactions.
Helpful questions to ask when creating a reflective framework
- Do we both feel comfortable with our roles in the classroom today?
- What were the successes of today's lesson?
- Who will be responsible for implementing these changes?
- Was consensus reached with regard to the final decision?
- Are there any issues that we should address to improve our collaborative relationship (e.g., time, grading, role clarification, parental contact, assessment, etc.)?
Create your own reflective framework
Consider creating your own reflective framework for your co-taught classroom or use the questions initially to assist you in evaluating and communicating about the co-teaching process. One of the key mistakes made in co-teaching is not having a formal evaluative framework in place prior to starting the co-teaching process. The questions you create should be revisited every 4 weeks or less to ensure issues that arise are addressed in an ongoing fashion. You might consider using your reflective framework to guide a blog either with or between you and your colleague as you reflect on the co-teaching experience.