Co-teachers going into year two with high hopes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- With the new school year just days away, Jessica Moore and Michelle Areaux are starting to get excited.

“We are all just so excited to see our students again and see how their summers went and get the ball rolling again,” said Jessica Moore a special education teacher.

Last year the two co-taught 7th grade language arts at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School.

“Co-teaching is when you have a general education teacher and a special education teacher in the classroom together collaborating and working together as a unit,” said Moore.

The co-teaching program started last year after the district received a grant.

The goal is to help all students learn the best they can by keeping them in the classroom together.

“Teaching them to understand how they learn. You know we all learn different ways and if you can articulate what’s of interest to you or what helps you, I mean as humans that’s just a really great thing,” said Cyndi Ogden, a special education teacher.

Areaux says the program helps teachers just as much.

“Honestly, I think it helped us become better teachers because when we sat down to plan we didn’t just think about the content. We had to think about how are we going to implement the content with strategies that are going to be used, the framework that goes around it,” said Michelle Areaux, a language arts teacher.

Administrators say the program is working.

By the end of last year they saw tremendous success from students in the classes across grades and schools.

“Our kindergarten students, a large majority of them were not prepared for kindergarten. So when you look at kindergarten at the end of the year and you see that not only are they ready for first grade but a lot of them are proficient. It’s a dynamic growth. So that is pretty inspiring,” said Greg Ross, principal of the Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary School.

So much so the program received praise from Superindentent Manny Caulk during his state of the schools speech.

“It’s huge and I think it’s really helping our students,” said Areaux.

The co-teaching program will continue this school year and both say they’re excited to see what the year brings.

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