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.
Recently, I attended a training with coaches and teachers from across the country all with one goal in mind: how can I increase the quality of Instructional Support in my center? As the group discussed the merits of encouraging children to use complex language, we landed a tried-and-true teaching strategy outlined by the CLASS tool: asking children open-ended questions to stimulate their language use.
At Teachstone, we are lucky enough to spend time reviewing videos of fabulous classrooms and teaching moments. Earlier this year, I began a blog series of short classroom videos we’ve plucked from our reviews to demonstrate just some of the reasons why children are wonderful.
Most parents, teachers, and children would agree—there is something special about story time. I can recall the thrill I felt at seven years old, sitting on the primary-colored carpet of my elementary school’s library, listening intently as the school librarian read us The Widow’s Broom or Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Some of my fondest memories include my mom reading me passages from The Secret Garden before bedtime, or my dad curling up on the couch with me to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, or my absolute favorite, Curious George.
At Teachstone, we have the privilege of interacting with teachers all the time. Sometimes, that means supporting teachers through MyTeachingPartner Coaching; other times, that means filming a day in a teacher’s classroom to capture effective moments.
Remember America’s Funniest Home Videos? I’m talking about the old school, nineties version that was hosted by Bob Saget (Full House aficionados will remember him as “Danny Tanner”). America lovedthat show; I loved that show. An early precursor to YouTube, AFV was a show that collected and shared authentic home videos ranging from the “warm and fuzzy” to the “just plain silly.” As we review classroom video here at Teachstone, I’m reminded of AFV every once in a while as we stumble upon short clips that make us smile, giggle, and sometimes even tear up.
During my time at Teachstone, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with a wide range of early education coaches and center directors across the country—from those working in densely populated, urban settings to more isolated, rural Head Starts and everything in between. Time and time again, the same challenge comes up: teacher-turnover. One coach recently told me:
After trekking from various cities throughout the country, my colleagues and I finally made it to the 41st Annual Head Start Conference, held last week in Long Beach, CA. I’m happy to report that Teachstone truly made the most of its time throughout the week—delivering presentations (5 of them, whew!), attending presentations, and hosting two events.