Team Teach with a Student

Consider team teaching with a student. Team teaching is sometimes touted as something that "every instructor should try" (Harte 1995:3). Research suggests that professor-student teaching teams offer several benefits to students, student teachers, and professors. For a review of both the benefits and the challenges, as well as ways to avoid the challenges, see Gray and Harrison (2003).

For greatest effectiveness, team teaching pairs should plan to work together in the professor's office during the class period before and after each class you teach together. Before each class period, make sure you are both clear about the order of class activities, who will lead each activity, and how. After class, help each other decompress and assess the previous class period, take notes on what should be done differently, and discuss any outstanding issues or long-term planning.

Students report enhanced learning because the method gives the students a new perspective and improves the availability of teachers; student teachers learn a lot about teaching and the subject matter; and professors report it gives them excellent substitute teachers and a valuable source of feedback for teaching improvement. As a result of the many benefits of team teaching, the professors and student teachers involved in this study all indicated they would like to team teach again (Gray and Harrison 2003).


  • Gray, Tara and Paige Harrison. 2003. "Team Teach with a Student: A Pilot Program in Criminal Justice," Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 14(1): 163-180.
  • Gray, T. and S. Halbert. 1998. "Team Teach with a Student: New Approach to Collaborative Teaching." College Teaching 46: 150-153.
  • Harte, T. B. 1995. "Two Heads Really Are Better than One." Journal on Excellence in College Teaching 6: 3-7.

To follow up on any of these ideas, please contact me at This Weekly Teaching Note was adapted from a contribution to the Teaching and Learning Writing Consortium sponsored by Western Kentucky University.

Tara Gray, Paige Harrison, and Sami Halbert Geurts
Submitted by Tara Gray, Ph.D.
Director, The Teaching Academy
New Mexico State University