5 Tips for Getting Along with Your Co-Teacher

Inclusion (sometimes called "push-in") is the ideal least restrictive environment for many our student with IEPs, but having two teachers in one classroom can be... difficult. As an introvert and someone with strong opinions, I honestly preferred teaching in my own resource room! But getting along with your co-teacher can go a long way towards making inclusion more pleasant, and ultimately making the classroom a better environment for students.

1. COMMUNICATE. This one is first and in all caps because it's the most crucial. You have to talk to your co-teacher outside of your teaching time. I wish this went without saying, but if you just show up during your scheduled "push in" time and that's the only time you speak to your general education co-teacher, things. will. not. go. well. And I say this as someone who's done it. At points, I was working with 5+ co-teachers, some of whom clearly did not want me in the room. You have to push past it and insist on meeting at least once a week or things are never going to get better.

2. Give gifts. Yep, I blatantly ingratiate myself with co-teachers throughout the year. Gift giving is my love language and I really do enjoy making and giving gifts, but it can also be a great way to start things off on the right foot! I give little gifts at the beginning of the year, the holidays, and the end of the year, at a minimum.

3. Take on tasks. Some general education co-teachers might be unsure of how much you're willing to do. Show you're a team player by offering to take over certain tasks. That could be lesson planning for a subject (I lesson planned a quarter of gen ed Social Studies for the whole grade level because I was the most passionate about the subject, which was Black History in Illinois), completing running records, or changing the bulletin board each month.

4. Exchange phone numbers. I genuinely hope you're thinking, "Duh," but I'm including this because it definitely wasn't the case for me with some co-teachers. Having each other's phone numbers means you can communicate last minute when you need to, and I think can lead to becoming friends as well. When you have someone's phone number, you can text them from Starbucks before school and see if they want anything. And we all know coffee leads to friendship.

5. Share & care. Your co-teacher doesn't need to know all the ins and outs of your personal life, but sharing some information can help you become closer. While some might think this is TMI, I truly think sharing with certain co-teachers that I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder helped them to be more understanding of me. Of course, it doesn't have to be that personal. It can just be talking about your pets, or kids, or your new apartment. And this goes both ways! Show that you care about your co-teacher as a human being by asking about their life (in a non-prying way) outside of school. Ask what they're doing this weekend, remember their kids' names, and ask if they're feeling better when they have a cold. Some of you are probably thinking, "Thanks for the primer on being a normal, nice human being, Sarah," but I know it's not always easy when you're nervous or new! There will be some co-teachers that this all comes naturally with, and others with whom you'll really need to make an effort.

As I developed relationships with co-teachers, it became clear that some of them were a bit chilly towards me at first because they were used to special education teachers who in their minds, didn't do anything. Keep that in mind if you think that your co-teachers don't like you at first! Show them that you truly want to be a co-teacher, not just an assistant-- and hopefully even a friend! 

If you're looking for more tips on teaching in an inclusion setting, check out these 7 Things You Can Do as an Inclusion Teacher.

7 Amazon Items for the Best Bulletin Board Ever

This post contains affiliate links.

For when you want that bomb bulletin board, but you don't want to leave the house: 

1. Corrugated Black Border I love old school bordette for adding texture without being too busy.
2. Fadeless Bulletin Board Paper Fadeless bulletin board paper is totally worth the cost. It can last you the whole year instead of ripping as soon as a student so much as glances at it.
3. Burlap Banner
4. Woodgrain Background Paper This woodgrain paper is actually a photo backdrop, but it's big enough for a bulletin board!
5. Teal Paper Fans
6. Mini Clothespins I love mini clothespins for banners and easily changing out student work.
Gold Paper Fans Gold is festive while still going with everything.

You can find out more tips for setting up your bulletin board here: 5 Ways to Set Your Bulletin Board Up for Success.

Once you've got your bulletin board set up, you can make sure you always have a fresh + display ready to go with my Monthly Bulletin Board Bundle.



It includes a seasonal and meaningful activity for each month of the year suitable for grades K-8, plus three bonus kits! Each kit includes a craftivity option, as well as a no prep version. Find it here

5 Ways to Set Your Bulletin Board Up For Success

This post contains affiliate links.

1. Use a long-lasting background. It's tempting to just use whatever butcher paper you can scrounge up in the teacher's lounge, but you'll ultimately save yourself time and maybe even money if you use fadeless paper or fabric. If you go the fabric route, it can even last for years! 

2. Use neutral colors. I'm not saying your board has to be beige, but pick a background and borders that won't need to be changed seasonally or because they clash with your displays. One year I used a solid mint fabric, which looked great with every display I had up throughout the year. I also think black is a great choice for borders!
.

3. Don't mix patterns. I might be in the minority on this, but I think multiple patterns on one bulletin board is overkill. If you're going to do a patterned background (I like using a woodgrain pattern), choose a solid border. If you're using a patterned border, go with a solid background. Sure, you want your board to be bright and attractive, but you don't want it to overwhelm student work. 
.


4. Over-staple. Kids are going to touch your bulletin board when they walk by it-- it's unavoidable. So go ahead and staple, staple, staple those borders. You can even get really crazy and laminate your borders first, though I've never taken it that far.

5. Try corrugated borders. I used to think these were too old school, but now I love them! They're often a bit sturdier than the flat kind and they're so cheap! They also look great layered and add some texture without being too over the top. 
.

If you follow these tips, you can leave the basics of your bulletin board the same ALL YEAR!

Just change out the student work monthly and you're set! You can even grab my Monthly Bulletin Board Bundle so you have a fresh + fun activity ready to go each month. 
.

It includes a seasonal and meaningful activity for each month of the year suitable for grades K-8, plus three bonus kits! Each kit includes a craftivity option, as well as a no prep version. Check it out here!

July Teacher Care Crate Unboxing



Find out exactly what comes in the July Teacher Care Crate in my unboxing video, and read on for even more details!

Happy Essential Oil Roller This blend of orange, lavender, ylang ylang, and coconut oils is the perfect summer scent. Use any time you need a little mood boost! {Retail Value: $12}

Seed Bombs Each crate includes a pouch with four beautiful seed bombs from Plantables and Paper. Plant indoors or outdoors for a burst of wildflowers and a reminder to keep growing! {Retail Value: $6}

Yoga Card Becca of The Teacher's Passport designed this yoga and meditation card-- perfect for relaxing over the summer or during the school year! {Retail Value: $2}

Knotted Headband This stretchy headband is great for keeping your hair back during the summer heat, or for rocking with a messy bun during the school year. {Retail Value: $10}

Succulent Earrings These darling earrings are handmade (by me!) with stainless steel, nickel-free posts. They also go great with the headband! {Retail Value: $12}

Lavender Mint Lip Balm This handmade lip balm from With Love By KM will keep your lips smooth and has a refreshing scent. {Retail Value: $5}

Recharge Candle Guideless Candles created this rose-scented candle just for Teacher Care Crate! {Retail Value: $5}

Moscow Mule Mixer Just mix soda water (I used Lacroix!) and vodka with this cocktail mixer from Minute Mixology to make a delicious Moscow Mule. {Retail Value: $1} 

With a retail value of over $50, this month's Teacher Care Crate is the perfect way to continue your #selfcaresummer, as well as a great deal! 

Subscribe at teachercarecrate.com by 7/14 to receive this special Flower Child themed Teacher Care Crate!

9 Amazon Items For Your Pineapple Classroom


Whether you're going for a full on pineapple theme or just want a few tropical touches, there are some cute classroom finds on Amazon!
This post contains affiliate links.

1. Golden Pineapple Banner I love this banner for a bulletin board or whiteboard.
2. Pineapple Squishie This would be great for a cool down corner!
3. Pineapple Lanyard Wearing your classroom key and ID is a little more fun when you have a pink pineapple lanyard!
4. Pineapple Mat A welcome mat makes your classroom extra homey. 
5. Pineapple Wall Hanging This tapestry would be perfect for covering up any unsightly areas of your classroom walls.
6. Pineapple Pen Holder How fun is this pencil holder for your desk!?
7. Pineapple Lamps These pretty lamps would add a gentle glow to your library area.
8. Pineapple Pens These would be great for a VIP student desk or even parent sign-in at conferences.
9. Pineapple Pillow So cute for a library area or cool down corner!

Complete the look with my Pineapple Classroom Decor Pack!

3 Ways to Help Children at the Border


As teachers, we are used to loving and taking care of children other than our own. Regardless of your views on immigration or who you voted for, tearing children away from their families because their parents are seeking a better life for them is unnecessary, cruel, and wrong. 

1. Start by calling and writing your congress people TODAY to let them know you want them to support the Keep Families Together Act. If you have any Republican representatives or senators, this is particularly important, as no Republicans currently support the bill. You can use Resistbot to easily write your reps right from you phone. You can use 5 Calls to call your reps by just pressing a button.

2. After you contact your reps, SHARE this information. We want reps to be so overwhelmed with calls and letters that they feel compelled to act. You're welcome to share this blog post, or my Facebook post with the same information.

3. Then, if you're in a position to do so, donate to an organization helping the children at the border. Personally, I donated to Together Rising, an organization providing advocates and legal representation to children at the border. 

Let's do this, teacher-friends!

June Teacher Care Crate Unboxing

Want to know exactly what comes in the June Teacher Care Crate? Watch my quick unboxing video and find even more details, including retail value, below. Just be sure to subscribe by June 14 to get the crate shown here! 



Sweet Summer Tote Bag The Hipster Art Teacher, known for her hand lettered clipboards, applied her gorgeous hand lettering and illustration style to design this fun summer tote! It's perfect for wherever your summer errands take you, whether it's the library, beach, or grocery store. {Retail Value: $16}

Summer Bucket List Print Use this list to make the most of your summer! It features 17 suggestions for summer activities, plus two blank spaces for you to fill in your own summer bucket list items. {Retail Value: $8}

Citrus Mojito Soap This refreshing, handmade soap from Voss Botanicals has the perfect summery scent. {Retail Value: $6}

Tropical Tattoos The June Teacher Care Crate includes a full page of tropical tattoos from Ducky Street Tattoos! Pineapples, monstera leaves, and flamingos will look great as you head to a summer festival or just the pool! They're easily applied with water and can be washed off whenever you wish. If you avoid washing the area, your tattoos can last 2-3 days. {Retail Value: $3}

Teacher on Break Koozie Jamie from Little Miss and Company made the adorable mint koozies in this month's crate! They're perfect for keeping your LaCroix (or can of wine!) cool. {Retail Value: $5}

Shower Steamer Place your handmade shower steamer from Blue Oak Farm in the corner of your shower outside the direct stream of water for a spa-like aromatherapy experience that will last several showers. {Retail Value: $3}

Pique Tea Crystals Pour these mint green tea crystals in hot or cold water for instant tea without dealing with a tea bag. {Retail Value: $1}

Kick off your summer of self care with the June Teacher Care Crate
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...