Five Reasons Co-Teaching Your ELLs Can Be Really Difficult

Co-Teaching ELLs

Discover the transformative potential of co-teaching for ELLs and unravel the hurdles that may impede its success.

In today’s episode, we delve into the five common difficulties encountered in co-teaching. Whether you’re an EL specialist or a homeroom teacher, our host Beth Vaucher navigates these challenges and offers actionable insights to foster effective collaboration. Join us as we empower educators to overcome obstacles and pave the way for thriving co-teaching experiences!

Here’s a list highlighting some of the reasons why this collaborative approach might feel difficult:

  1. Lack of Planning Time: Effective co-teaching hinges on thorough planning to align lesson plans, strategies, and assessments. However, constrained planning time can hinder this collaboration, hindering cohesive instruction delivery.
  2. Role Ambiguity and Communication Gaps: Clear delineation of roles and effective communication are pivotal for successful co-teaching. Ambiguity in responsibilities and disparities in communication styles or language proficiency can lead to inefficiencies and conflicts.
  3. Resource Constraints: Limited classroom space, teaching materials, and technology pose challenges to implementing effective instructional strategies tailored to ELLs’ needs.
  4. Differing Expectations: Misaligned expectations between homeroom and ELL teachers regarding student outcomes, pacing, and content depth can create tension and hinder collaboration.
  5. Pedagogical Differences: Diverse teaching styles and philosophies stemming from varied cultural and educational backgrounds may lead to disagreements on lesson planning and classroom management, undermining the co-teaching environment.

Addressing these challenges necessitates fostering open communication, mutual respect, and a commitment to ongoing collaboration and professional development. By acknowledging and proactively tackling these difficulties, educators can cultivate an environment conducive to supporting the diverse learning needs of all students. How do you start? Make a list of the frustrations you have felt in your co-teaching. When the list is compiled, choose 1 on which you can take action. By focusing on eliminating that 1 frustration, you are taking small steps in the right direction! Together, let’s embark on a journey of growth and empowerment in co-teaching practices.

Click the player above to hear the full episode! Until next time, keep empowering and equipping your students for success!

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More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



Find a variety of best selling resources created specifically with the diverse needs of ELLs in mind.