In last month’s blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the challenge of maintaining objectivity. This month’s we'll look at another challenge CLASS observers face while using the measure in a family child care setting: coding when there are multiple adults.
FCC Challenge #4: Multiple Adults
There may be the provider and a helper or possibly a family member that is present During one or more of the cycles, there may be a help or family member present in addition to the care provider. What do you do when a family member or other adult is not really providing care but is in the room chatting with the provider or is having a meal in the kitchen while the children are eating?
Figuring out how you'll manage this as an observer takes a little forethought. Let’s start with some basic questions that will help you develop a plan for just such a scenario:
Once you make these important decisions, you can proceed to collect the data that will help you weigh the effectiveness of the interactions. From there, form your professional development or support for the providers to improve outcomes for children.
As always, I urge you to take time to read Chapter Two of your CLASS manual, where you'll find great answers to just about any coding question you may have.
How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I posed that question to a random selection of contacts via text message. What did I discover? Everyone in my sample group spreads on the PB first, then the J. There are a variety of ways though to apply the jelly, but in my random group, the jelly always comes second.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches make me think about Behavior Guidance, a dimension in the CLASS® toddler observation tool. Especially the first two indicators of behavior guidance: proactive and supporting positive behavior. Proactive is the peanut butter! It goes first. That layer of peanut butter is the base for the jelly, which promotes positive behavior.
“What I think I’m most proud of as a professional in the field is our ability to show up, our ability to still do it, to still roll with the changes… We have to adjust. That is what educators did the entire year. We show up. We have a strong why. We love what we do.” This is a quote from Colleen Schmit from our recent webinar, Celebrating Great Teaching. She’s talking about how hard the last couple of school years have been for teachers. Teachers faced a similar difficulty 20 years ago when the United States faced a national tragedy.
When COVID-19 hit and schools shut down, many of us were certain that it would not impact the 2020-21 school year. But after more than 18 months, it’s clear that the pandemic is still with us. The length of the pandemic has only heightened concern about COVID related learning loss - especially among underserved populations.
Whether you’re going back to school virtually or in person, making the most of each learning moment is always the goal. Engaging children requires you to make many plans and decisions based on your teaching knowledge. Ideally, you help children meet individual needs while still reaching goals. With strong relationships as a foundation, clear expectations and consistency will help children listen, participate, and learn. That said, building that foundation and keeping students engaged in virtual or hybrid settings can feel more challenging.
Here are some takeaways that we've heard from the last year that can help you adjust to the needs of each child in online settings, just as you would in person.