We’ve all been there—the spring semester is looming around the corner. Although you have the gist of the syllabus planned, the details still need to be worked out. Assignments need to be finalized and engaging classroom activities need to be developed.
Here are a few ideas that you might be able to adapt for your course.
Want to learn more about using CLASS in teacher training programs? Check out the free, 20-minute Teacher Education and the CLASS Framework webinar on introducing the CLASS tool to teachers in training. I'd love to hear what other strategies you're using to introduce CLASS to new teachers and students. Share your stories in the comments below.
Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in December 2013, but has since be revised to maintain accurate and engaging content.
Many teachers will agree that their first year of teaching can be one of the most grueling, challenging, and stressful experiences for them as they take on the task of educating our youth. In my first year of teaching, I was not familiar with the CLASS tool and its impact in the classroom. I was not aware of the dimensions, indicators, and the tremendous power of interactions. Looking back, I recognize the many ways the CLASS tool was reflected in my classroom, but I also see the value in how familiarity with the CLASS tool could have benefitted my classroom. Although many external forces impacted my role as a high school Spanish teacher, the CLASS tool’s invaluable purpose could have made a profound impact on my first year teaching.
Recently, I wrote about research showing us just how few children experience even “good enough” teaching from kindergarten to third grade. Only 4% of children in rural areas of North Carolina and Pennsylvania had access to good enough teaching during these critical early years and over 50% only experienced good enough teaching for 1 year or less.
When I first heard that I was going to have to be observed and coached for my job, I was not thrilled by any means. I immediately thought, Great, someone is going to watch me and tell me how terrible I am. I sincerely thought it was going to be nothing but a negative experience.
As I entered my 15th year of teaching young children and supporting adult learners, I found myself searching for answers. Answers to why CLASS implementation was so difficult, why teacher buy-in was such a challenge, and why long-term improvement seemed impossible. In my role as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, I’m constantly checking the data. Data drives instruction, instruction drives learning, learning drives comprehension, and comprehension equals success!