At Teachstone, we know that our work only succeeds if it is in partnership with you. So as we reflect on the significant challenges of 2020 and early 2021, we want to pause and celebrate the numerous ways in which you, and educators across this country, focused on what matters most – supporting students through meaningful interactions.
You used technology in new ways to learn about how to most effectively support students through virtual trainings. You engaged in webinars, online conferences, and studied independently to improve teaching skills. You pushed forward despite incredibly challenging circumstances, and we were honored to partner with you in those efforts.
From the start, Teachstone has had a singular goal - to ensure all children and adolescents had access to life-changing teaching. We knew the power that great teachers had to inspire, support, and guide students’ learning and development. In partnership with educators and policymakers across the country, we have made great progress toward this goal - but there is so much more to do.
As we enter 2021, we are laser-focused on fulfilling our mission by doing more to support the learning and developmental outcomes for every child.
In keeping with that work, we are excited to share that Teachstone has recently become a Certified B Corporation. This designation means that our organization meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. We’re excited by the opportunity to join leading businesses from across the country using business as a force for good.
We hope you will join us in 2021 as we continue to listen, respond, adapt, improve, and work with you towards a world where every child experiences life-changing teaching. Over the coming months we invite you to gather virtually for discussions and best practices around returning to in-person teaching, supporting students with special needs and dual language learners, responding to the increased gaps in early literacy and reading development and so much more. As always, we know that there is nothing more important for students’ educational experiences than the educators who work tirelessly to support them - and we are here to support you.
Stay tuned and thank you!
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Who was your favorite teacher?
For Darlene Estes, Teachstone’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, it was her first grade teacher. Along with Sarah Hadden, Teachstone’s Senior Advisor for Policy & Research, she explored the reasons why in a recent webinar: her teacher built a personal relationship with her. She helped a young Darlene feel welcome and safe. She challenged Darlene to think.
The reason Darlene’s first grade teacher was so memorable is because she embodied the heart of great teaching. These powerful interactions are what are measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System®, or CLASS®. Together, Darlene and Sarah guided CLASS beginners through some foundational ideas about what CLASS is and how to start thinking more intentionally about teacher-child interactions. Here are three big takeaways:
Knowing that approximately 25% of children under 5 come from homes where Spanish is the predominant language spoken, we were pleased that Lisa White, a researcher at American Institutes for Research, was willing to speak with us about her study that compared the CLASS with the CASEBA, a tool designed to assess quality in classrooms serving dual language learners. To learn more, read on!
We’re still soaking up the wisdom shared by our many, many excellent speakers at the spring 2021 InterAct Summit. From its inception, Teachstone has been an organization based in research. Because the CLASS is reliable and valid, teachers and programs trust it to give meaningful, accurate, and actionable information. To learn more about the current work being done in the field, we invited co-founder Bob Pianta to give an update on new research findings.
At Teachstone, we are all in on early learning. The research shows us that, with the help of effective educators, there is so much potential to build a strong foundation for children’s learning well before elementary school. But some research, including the Head Start Impact Study and the research on Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K, has complicated the story. Researchers found that in some cases, gains made in early childhood education seemed to fade out by around third grade.
Follow-up research has added to the narrative.