Regardless of the various journeys we take or paths we find ourselves on when we discover CLASS, we all believe in the power of interactions to change children’s lives. While our focus is on classrooms (broadly defined), as educators and passionate education advocates we believe in the right of all children to experience nurturing interactions, both inside and outside any classroom walls.
Our beliefs are grounded in vast knowledge and a wealth of science. Given this knowledge of the impact of those interactions, especially between children and their primary caregivers, I recognize a responsibility to speak up. I’m far from alone. Today, the U.S. Senate, led by the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said the Senate, in a bipartisan approach, will not remain idle or quiet while children are separated from their parents or caregivers at our country’s borders, disrupting the most fundamental bonds and putting young children and their healthy development in grave peril.
So often with my early childhood advocacy work, I turn to one of our largest, strongest advocacy organizations, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC. Please read their blog and let me know your thoughts and ideas.
As the former Vice President of Education and Program Operations, as well as the Head Start/Early Head Start Program Director, of a large Chicago Agency, I am often asked the question, “How did you get your CLASS scores to rise so much?” Our Pre-K Instructional Support scores rose from a 2.65 to a 3.74 the first year, and from a 3.74 to a 4.17 the second year. It wasn’t an easy process. And it was up to us to show our teachers the importance of teacher-student interactions and slowly introduce how CLASS scores could be used to improve these interactions.
Below are three steps we took to introduce the importance of CLASS and interactions to our teachers and, ultimately, raise our CLASS scores.
When my first child was born, I was 30. I was also married, had a master’s degree, and taught in a district that paid pretty well. During my pregnancy, I learned what to look for in high-quality child care and I thought I knew how to find it. What I didn’t know was that even though my husband and I both worked, we couldn’t afford quality child care.
A year ago, urged on by my insightful new colleague, Manda Klein, who was born and raised in Texas, I wrote a blog entitled, At Our Core. It praised the bipartisan efforts to discontinue the practice of separating children from their parents and caregivers at our country’s borders.