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A CLASS Primer for Teachers

13 Apr 2018 by Matt Owens

“This is my favorite training, out of all of them. We get ideas from the training and each other.”

                   - ECE Teacher who participated in A CLASS Primer for Teachers

“I need to take this back to all the teachers—I mean every teacher should go through this. I thought this was going to be boring, but no … this is so good. Thank you for this.”

                   - Program Leader who participated in A CLASS Primer for Teachers

A Simple Solution to a Common Problem

If you only had one day to get teachers excited about CLASS, what would you do? We know how important it is to quickly introduce teachers to CLASS. And we know CLASS implementation goes nowhere without teacher buy-in.

The basic idea that began with our work on A CLASS Primer for Teachers is that for educators to really get excited about CLASS, we need to help them:

  • Fit CLASS into their current understanding of what helps children learn and grow
  • Use CLASS and experience the positive benefits firsthand

If It Were Easy, We’d Have Done It Already

While we were pretty confident in our idea, it was, after all, just an idea. We needed a training. And it needed to be different from previous efforts that didn’t do enough to get teacher’s excited about CLASS. Since we were approaching a new goal and using increasingly interactive instructional methods, we wanted to test our training and see how it worked for real teachers.

As with any good test, we made sure it wasn’t too easy to pass. We set high standards for learner engagement, satisfaction, demonstration of understanding, likelihood to integrate what they learned, and more.

Try and Try Again

While showing some promise, the first version of our training failed our test. We had always expected our rough and early version of the training to need improvements. And as we returned to Charlottesville, looking closely at the data we collected from the test, we started to notice patterns, such as sections of the training where engagement lagged and activities during which teachers asked high rates of follow-up questions.

The patterns suggested that the core of the training was solid, but we needed to significantly update some language, facilitation methods, pacing, and materials. We had a lot of work to do. But we were confident we were working on the right things.

Same Test, New Training

As we watched the updated version of A CLASS Primer run through a second test, we were delighted with what we saw. The improvements were paying off, and the teachers and leaders were happy with their experiences.

Teachers found the training “useful in giving language to discuss classroom interactions” and an opportunity to feel “connected with others who are involved in the care of children.” They were engaged, thoughtful, and left with intentions to both continue learning and to apply what they’d already learned.

The Reward

A CLASS Primer for Teachers is a simple, fun, and effective way to get teachers genuinely excited about CLASS. It makes CLASS language accessible and CLASS strategies approachable.

A CLASS Primer for Teachers