I am relatively new to team teaching. My partner in this project, Louise, has vastly more experience working closely with a fellow teacher, so for her, it's just a natural way to order her day. I found teaming up with Louise difficult at first. I was concerned I wasn't pulling my weight in organizing TLLP (Teachers Learning and Leadership Program) and PKE (Provincial Knowledge Exchange) inservices, managing budgets, booking appointments, and moving the project along smoothly. But when I really thought about it, the differences in our personalities and teaching styles allowed us to carve out different, but essential roles. When we prepare for an event we 'fill in' for each other. I love the creative tasks of writing assignment cards, finding exploration topics and materials, and the actual running of the workshop. The actual day is, to be honest, a real thrill. Going into someone's classroom and learning with a new group of students is truly exciting. Much of background work is done by Louise. She excels at it.
This is the classic inquiry-based model. Both of us follow our own interests and enthusiasms while contributing to the whole. Inquiry based teaching confirms that this essentially true for the classroom. Every kid in your class has something to offer and has their own set of strong interests. And they all want to learn, even if it doesn't seem so on particular days. Find out what these strong interests are, allow them to pursue them, and watch amazing collaboration happen in your room!