The Planning Meeting Process-An Excerpt from the Considerations Packets, Co-Planning for Student Success

by Tina Spencer, M.S.

Specialists from the College of William and Mary's Training and Technical Assistance Center (W&M T/TAC) research and disseminate free Considerations Packets designed to inform administrators, teachers, and parents of the latest research on an array of topics.  The packets are accessible by request through mail or by download from the W&M T/TAC website,

On the left of the site page will be a tab labeled "Considerations Packets". 

This article provides an excerpt from the Considerations Packet entitled "Co-Planning for Student Success" and informs co-teaching partners of their roles and responsibilities before coming together to plan, during planning time, and after co-teaching lessons.

Before Meeting (Pre-Planning)

  • Each teacher should come to the planning meeting prepared. This means that a certain amount of pre-planning must take place.
  • The general educator is the content specialist and should bring to the planning meeting SOL Curriculum Frameworks, textbooks, and other relevant resource materials. He or she should begin to reflect on the "Big Ideas" and critical concepts that will be taught in order to share these with the co-teaching partner at the meeting.
  • The special educator is considered the behavioral and learning specialist. Because the special educator focuses on the individual needs of students with disabilities, he or she provides important student information gleaned from Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This information as well as behavior plans can be shared at the meeting or given to the co-teacher in advance. Students' IEP goals, accommodations, and behavior plans are critical considerations as teachers plan instruction. Special educators benefit from having access to the SOL Curriculum Framework for the particular content that they will co-teach. Knowing the particular SOL objectives and essential knowledge and skills will assist the special educator in thinking about appropriate teaching and learning strategies for the lesson.

During the Planning Meeting

  • The general educator clarifies instructional objectives; the specialist clarifies IEP goals or objectives.
  • The special educator considers students' accommodations.
  • Both teachers brainstorm possible teaching techniques and activities.
  • Both teachers determine roles each will play in instruction based on students' needs and the variations of co-teaching to be used.
  • Both teachers volunteer to prepare and gather materials for the lesson.
  • One teacher acts as a scribe and provides a written copy of plans.(Click here for the Co-Planning Meeting Agenda Template and Agenda Example)

After Co-Planning Meeting

  • Both teachers prepare and gather materials for the lesson.

After the Lesson (Evaluation)

  • Both teachers evaluate student outcomes.
  • Special educator monitors progress on IEP goals with general educator's input.
  • Both teachers reflect upon co-teaching relationship.
  • Both teachers record notes regarding changes and suggestions for future lessons to be shared at next planning session
The Co- Planning Process


  • Preview upcoming content
  • Write down individual student needs, resources, and activities
  • Consider student IEP goals and accommodations
  • Prepare mentally

Review, Reflect, Evaluate

  • Reflect on teacher and student performance
    • What worked well?
    • What didn't work?

Plan Lesson

  • Discuss "big picture" issues first
  • Discuss content
    • Analyze difficult concepts and skills
  • Plan content delivery
    • Consider co-teaching variations
  • Design practice activities
  • Plan individual and group evaluations

Assign Roles and Responsibilities

  • Identify needed materials
  • Clarify teaching responsibilities
  • Write out lesson plans for both teacher


  • Debrief
  • Praise each other's efforts
  • Critique week's activities
  • Use problem-solving strategies
  • Revisit roles and responsibilities regularly