Teachstone continues to fulfill the important role of supporting Spanish-speaking partners who implement CLASS in their programs and communities. In an effort to strengthen our reach to this key base, Teachstone recently hosted a regional conference in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The regional conference offered several CLASS trainings in Spanish as well as translation services for English trainings. Trainings were held from November 4–8 at the headquarters and facilities of Camera Mundi Inc. Camera Mundi is the largest and most comprehensive provider of products, equipment, materials, and services to the educational sector in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
One of the highlights from this weeklong event included a Head Start forum, where Camera Mundi General Manager Jorge G. Díaz Rivera formally announced his organization’s partnership with Teachstone. Mr. Rivera expressed an enthusiasm for the collaboration.
Many local community members and leaders in the field of education attended the forum, which included an overview of Teachstone’s most recently translated products and services. Senior International Advisor Lorena Sernett highlighted Teachstone’s latest efforts in providing CLASS trainings, products, and services in Spanish. Bilingual Community Specialist Richard Aguilar also provided information on several new supports available to Spanish community members, including La Comunidad de CLASS, a Facebook page dedicated to Spanish-speaking educators.
Over 100 participants attended trainings during the week, most from local Head Start programs, but also a few from Colombia and the US mainland. Teachstone offered Spanish Pre-K and Infant-Toddler Observation Training, A CLASS Primer for Teachers in Spanish (Fundamentos de CLASS para maestros), and Train-the-Trainer for the Pre-K age level.
Overall, turnout for the regional conference in Puerto Rico was robust, and participants were eager to enhance their understanding of the CLASS tool. Teachstone looks forward to the collaborative mission alongside Camera Mundi—and is proud to play its role in advancing the education of children in Puerto Rico and throughout the world.
When COVID-19 hit and schools shut down, many of us were certain that it would not impact the 2020-21 school year. But with the pandemic surging and some schools opening up - only to shut down again, it’s clear that COVID is still with us. The length of the pandemic has only heightened concern about COVID related learning loss - especially among underserved populations.
Young infants develop a unique relationship—known as attachment—with their caregivers. To develop secure bonds, infants need to know that at least one person really cares about them. Caregivers provide that comfort by helping infants regulate needs and emotions, such as hunger and sadness. With healthy attachments, infants develop a sense of safety and trust.
Infants need to be held, to have face-to-face interactions, to feel another human heartbeat. By meeting these needs, caregivers foster attachment. Plan how you will meet these essential needs—while keeping yourself and infants safe.
Children need to feel safe before they can explore their surroundings. While curiosity and exploration help awaken children’s talents, teachers help reinforce their learning through guidance and repetition. All children benefit from intentional interactions that inspire them through new experiences—and some children need additional or individualized support.
Given the natural need to be around others, children might have a hard time with social distancing. Organize materials in spaces where two friends can explore together. Make yourself available to facilitate their exploration while ensuring safety.
Toddlers reinforce their trust in caregivers while venturing into the world on their own. Along with stable relationships and independence, they need frequent reminders of behavioral expectations to keep themselves and their peers safe. With support and regulation, educators can help buffer the effects of stress or trauma and promote healthy child development.
Children learn best in a warm, safe environment. While positive interactions strengthen a classroom community, clear safety expectations promote healthiness. Remind children that these measures are in place because you care about them.