Amanda Steeley, Special Education Teacher

For the past 3 years, I co-taught all core subjects to 5th  grade students with the same person: Joe Beasley. Joe and I were both drama kids in high school, and I think that probably best defines what we had in common – we could put on a show at any time. And while we had many attributes that complimented each other, our ability to make each other laugh is why we remain friends even as our careers have shifted.

This year, I have a new co-teacher: Nicole Carter. Nicole has always been teaching 5th grade across the hall, diligently planning all details of her lessons. I’ve always admired that about her: My impulsivity respects her thoughtfulness. Where I am easily distracted, she is focused. And I’m excited for the ways in which I will grow in this new environment. Just as I believe our students are placed with us for cosmic reasons beyond our understanding, so too do I believe that co-teachers are placed in this way.

Last week, Nicole calmed a student whom I, the “behavior specialist”, could not – simply by walking and talking with him, and letting his voice be heard. Yesterday, I came in fearful that I had let Nicole down – that I hadn’t communicated with her enough over the weekend. She calmly smiled at me and said, “This is new. We’re learning how to work together, and that’s going to take time.” I am so grateful for her wisdom; I have to constantly remind myself that Rome was not built in a day.

Have patience in the process, friends; It’s always worth it!

Stay tuned for more updates from our journey together. Are you in a new co-teaching relationship this year? We’d love to hear from you!