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Critical Conversations in Co-Teaching: A Problem-Solving Approach is a practitioner's guide to building a quality collaborative relationship through critical conversations the communication co-teachers use to build their collaborative practice. The authors begin by explaining three co-teaching models and how co-teaching itself fits within several school improvement initiatives: response to intervention, professional learning communities, differentiated instruction, and universal design for learning. Next they present the critical conversations framework┐four sets of conversation protocols designed to foster dramatic improvements in the way educators communicate with their colleagues. These conversations have paved the way for more effective and efficient shared teaching practice for hundreds of teachers. The framework is designed to enhance shared practice using a simple structure and process of talking together. It can create profound differences in the way teachers work together, in the outcomes they can expect from their students, and in their feelings of connectedness to their profession. The framework leads readers in intentionally focusing on building adult relationships and targeting students in more meaningful ways. Many teachers who have used the framework report that the process re-energized them and reminded them of why they became educators to begin with. The critical conversations are developmental in nature they follow a path that partners tend to move through as they begin and then become more collaborative in their work together. The four sets of critical conversations and their main goals are as follows: 1. Engage Partners In these conversations, partners establish a shared vision, establish the partnership, and lay the collaborative foundation. 2. Examine Data In these conversations, partners focus on results, use data about students to make instructional improvements, and dig into the data. 3. Enhance Instruction In these conversations, partners add value, using the partnership to teach together and make more impact than one teacher could do alone. 4. Expand Impact In these conversations, partners take a systems view toward improving instruction, and they sustain their effort. Each set of critical conversations is made up of specific protocols discussion plans and activities to work through with a partner or team. These protocols fit into three categories non-negotiable conversations (recommended for all partners), special occasion protocols (to use in specific situations), and in a perfect world protocols (to use as enrichment activities to extend learning). Each set of critical conversations, while not absolutely necessary for co-teaching to take place, will go a long way to ensuring that professional practices improve learning and all professionals involved are sharing their knowledge, skills, and talents to the benefit of all students. Throughout the book, the authors use practical examples and real-life stories to show how co-teaching strategies make a positive difference for students. Authentic conversations from real teachers bring the framework to life.