Sarah Hadden, Senior Advisor, Training and Professional Development |
Sarah is an educator with 30 years of experience in the field. She has been a classroom teacher, a researcher, and a teacher educator. Prior to joining Teachstone, Sarah worked on the development and implementation of the first CLASS-based professional development programs (MyTeaching Partner and the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education) at the Center for Advanced Studies on Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia.
Sarah conducts Pre-K & K-3 Intro and Observation trainings, Pre-K & K-3 Train the Trainer Programs, and Feedback Strategies and Instructional Support Strategy trainings.
Sarah lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has conducted CLASS trainings in 28 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) and 4 continents! When she isn’t working, she often has her nose in a book.
Student engagement is crucial for learning. Students who understand the rules and routines of the classroom and have something to do are less likely to engage in disruptive behavior, allowing the teacher to focus more on instruction. Engagement is only heightened when teachers make learning come alive. Warm, caring, and responsive teachers inspire students to focus on classroom activities, be it a read-aloud in an early childhood classroom or a writing activity in an upper grade classroom.
Strong cognitive skills in early childhood are associated with later school success. Cognitive skills are the mental processes that help us think, analyze, reason, and solve problems. These mental processes are complex and include a number of sub-skills that include attention, perception, memory, use of language, problem solving, and creativity – a set of skills referred to as executive function.
Numerous studies indicate that the CLASS is a valid measure of instructional quality. But, what exactly does that mean? Simply put, it means that the CLASS measures those aspects of teaching that lead to student achievement, typically measured with standardized assessments.
Reliability testing is stressful? Right? Right! Especially when you are an Affiliate Trainer, and you must pass the test to maintain trainer status! So you want to make sure that you’re doing the best you can. You study for the test, put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door, and lock yourself in your office with your manual, score sheets, and pencils in hand. (Steaming hot cup of coffee or tea is optional).
At some point in every training, someone invariably looks up and says, “So, if I want to be reliable, all I need to do is never score a 1 or a 7, right?”
Wrong! Every time I hear this, I want to scream. However, since it’s poor form for the trainer to scream, I maintain my composure and calmly explain that although I understand the intuitive appeal of what I call “The Numbers Game,” I cannot recommend it for the reasons presented below:
Note: It’s the start of another new school year and once again, my thoughts turn to all of the children who are starting school for the first time. But I also can’t help but think about those children who are making the big transition from preschool to kindergarten. As we all know, it can be a big adjustment for many kids.
Mary Margaret-Gardiner and Sarah Hadden discuss the Toddler CLASS dimension Regard for Child Perspectives. You'll learn why there isn't a student expression indicator and the importance of non-verbal choices. Before you watch, check out their previous vlog, Regard for Student Perspectives in Pre-K, and think about the differences between these two dimensions.
We are always interested to learn about novel uses of the CLASS. When we learned of the work of Alfred Richartz (left), Professor of Movement and Sports Pedagogy at the University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany, we knew we had to share. Alfred is a longtime CLASS user, having traveled to the U.S. in 2010 to be trained on K-3 CLASS. Since that time, he has returned five times to expand his CLASS repertoire. A certified observer on Toddler, K-3, Upper Elementary, and Secondary, Alfred is also an Affiliate Trainer on K-3.
If you’ve ever attended a CLASS Observation Training, you’ve heard the trainer state that the CLASS is a valid tool for measuring the efficacy to teacher-child interactions: that classroom quality, as measured by the CLASS, predicts positive developmental and academic outcomes for children (predictive validity). Specifically, children who attend classrooms with higher CLASS scores demonstrate better social and academic outcomes than their peers in classrooms that were not rated as highly.