Curry was born and raised primarily in Maine and still lives on the Maine coast in a cabin in the woods. Her career in early childhood began in her early 20’s as a teacher in a subsidized child-care program. Since that time, she has had a wide variety of experiences, including working with Head Start, Navy Child and Family programs in England and Sicily, the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion, and as an independent trainer and consultant with national accreditation and mentor projects.
Curry considers her work with Teachstone as the pinnacle of her career. In her 5+ years with Teachstone she has delivered the Pre-K CLASS Observation and the Pre-K Train the Trainer Program. In addition, she was worked with the MMCI (Making the Most of Classroom Interactions) and the MTP (My Teaching Partner) professional development programs.
Curry spends a lot of her time on the road (and in the skies). When she’s at home, she enjoys cooking and pairing wine with her wine group.
Curry believes that sharing the CLASS is the best way to achieve her personal mission of enhancing learning for children through the support of teachers.
Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Butler, high school (English)
CLASS Specialists at Teachstone all take turns providing reliability support to anxious testers. We often see the same mistakes and misconceptions over and over again about how the CLASS works, and as my story below will share, how the behavioral markers fit into the coding process.
Ellen Cairns presents on the parallel process with Curry Ander at InterAct 2017 in Austin, TX.
Recently, at the InterAct conference in Austin, we presented the parallel process of CLASS in 50 incredibly fast minutes. We had fun putting together a presentation that was interactive and that modeled as many of the dimensions, indicators, and behavioral markers as we could. In fact, we gave the participants a score sheet so they could rate us—a take off on the CLASS score sheet.
Think back to when you were new to CLASS. Really try to remember the details of those early days. Most of us had some pretty strong reservations, but we just forged ahead anyway. We had to. The CLASS seemed like just another assessment in a long line of new things to have to learn in an already-impossible work schedule.
As a Teachstone trainer, I spend most weeks preparing early childhood educators to conduct CLASS observations or to train others to conduct CLASS observations. During our two- or three-day trainings, we cover a lotof material. I have to prepare my trainees to deeply know and understand the CLASS Manual, feel comfortable taking detailed notes while keeping an eye on what is happening in very complex classrooms, and of course, to take the dreaded reliability test.
I hate tests. They make me anxious, they make me sweat, and I think they’re just plain mean. It's funny, then, that my job is about preparing people to take a test. As a CLASS trainer, I’m constantly helping participants overcome test anxiety, think through preparation strategies, and deal with failure (usually followed by success).
I recently received this question from a CLASS observer:
Where would an observer enter evidence for an interaction between a teacher and children who are fighting? In the interaction, the teacher was using conflict resolution skill-building techniques, but it seems like it could go in more places than Behavior Management.
Supporting teachers with the CLASS tool means walking the talk. As we support teachers to help children develop cognitive thinking skills, we can take it up a notch ourselves. Instead of giving advice, question teachers and really listen to their answers. Scaffold with hints and assistance, have in-depth back-and-forth exchanges, prompt teachers to think, provide good information, encourage, and affirm. Provide good Quality of Feedback—don't give the solutions; let the solutions come from the teachers.