Parallel Teaching

Using the parallel teaching model, the class is divided in half and each co-teacher leads the instruction for their designated group of students.  Ideally, groups are formed to maximize learning by pairing teaching styles with learning styles. Student groups should be flexible and based on students’ needs in relation to the standard(s) being taught.

The purpose of parallel teaching is to decrease the student-teacher ratio and target students’ instructional needs.


• Both teachers plan for instruction.

• Class is divided (50/50) matching teaching styles with student learning styles.

• The teachers are both teaching the same information simultaneously while meeting the individual student needs.

• Increased supervision of activities and behavior.

• Increased opportunities for students to respond to teacher led instruction.

• Noise level is not distracting and both teachers pace instruction accordingly.

Sample Lesson/Activity for Parallel Teaching

The class is divided in half, and each teacher works with a group on creating a timeline of important events in history. At the end of the session, each group shares its timeline and reviews important concepts.

Look for

• The same content with IEP accommodations, modifications, and specialized instruction varied according to the needs of the group.

• Teachers offer equivalent instruction to students and ensure participation of all.

Parallel Teaching

Additional Resources

Co-Teaching Resources