I'm currently the Director of Community and Credentialing, but I've been with Teachstone since 2010! It's been amazing to work with such a growing and mission-driven organization. Being at an education company has taught me so much about the importance of interactions (in and out of the classroom). I've been lucky enough to serve in a wide variety of teams and roles across Teachstone. Some of my previous experiences include providing customer and affiliate support, writing for the content team, delivering trainings, conducting CLASS observations, managing our products ... and now leading our community work! I can't wait to see the amazing things that will happen when we bring together groups of like-minded individuals who are passionate about impacting child outcomes--and I'm honored to be part of the journey in cultivating a community around this.
When I'm not at Teachstone, you might find me singing Motown hits around campfires, spending time with my nieces and nephews, tasting wine at local vineyards, cooking up something yummy in the kitchen, hiking with my pup, or kayaking a Virginia river with my husband.
Our third annual InterAct CLASS Summit is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited. This year, we’re gearing up for our biggest event yet, with more CLASS educators than ever before. But event attendance is certainly not the only thing that is improving. Here are a few exciting new aspects of the Summit for this year:
Think about the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role today.
Perhaps it’s handling teacher turnover, managing your time while coaching over large geographic regions, or dealing with the disappointment of not seeing the results you thought you might see when you implemented that new professional development program.
1. Collecting Observation Data is Just One Piece of the Puzzle
The CLASS measure allows us to quantify the quality of teacher-child interactions—and that is a powerful thing. But collecting observation data, alone, does nothing to impact students. Improving child outcomes takes more than just data collection; it’s what you do with the data that really matters.
As I sat in on an Infant Train-the-Trainer session, participants reflected on their previous experiences with CLASS: learning about it, using it to observe classrooms, supporting teachers, and training others to observe. One participant spoke up:
“CLASS is a measure you have to get wrong to get right.”
Have you ever meditated? One of the most challenging aspects of this practice is clearing your mind from day-to-day thoughts that pop into your head. If you meditate, you know that trying to push those thoughts away doesn’t work—in order to free your mind you must first acknowledge those distracting thoughts before you can return to your “moment of zen.”
Imagine you’re a cook in a restaurant. It’s what you do every day, you are passionate about it, and consider yourself pretty darn good at it. One evening, the owner of the restaurant decides he is going to attend a meal “as a guest” and is served one of your featured dishes: chicken pot pie. You emerge from the kitchen, excited to find out what he thinks, and his response: “Taste this. What would you do differently next time?”
A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a ladies night with some friends at the movies. We had it all: reclining seats, heavily buttered popcorn, and refreshing beverages. What did we see? Wonder Woman, of course! Not only was the blockbuster action-packed and fun, but it was also inspiring. After the movie, I reflected on the idea that anyone could be a super hero. In fact, in my job here at Teachstone, I interact with everyday superheroes all the time. Just a couple days ago, I spoke to a professional development manager who unexpectedly filled in for a colleague and conducted six additional CLASS trainings in one month! Talk about superpowers!