Co-teachers can create a collaborative atmosphere and set the stage for a positive relationship by following some suggestions featured in the Virginia Department of Education publication, Stepping Stones to Success II; Collaboration: Working Together for All Students. Suggestions in the section entitled, Culture of Collaboration: What it Looks Like and How We Do It include; remain open minded and flexible while building collaborative relationships; determine the roles of both teachers ahead of time; use effective, private communication to resolve conflicts immediately.
Communicating ahead of time about co-teaching expectations and roles promotes a culture of collaboration. A discussion tool like the S.H.A.R.E. document (Murawski & Dieker, 2004), fosters discussion. Co-teachers complete the questions individually and then meet to discuss their answers to either agree, compromise or agree to disagree.
Murawski, W.W., & Dieker, L.A. (2004). Tips and strategies for co-teaching at the secondary level. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36 (5), 52-58.