In January, I interviewed certfied MMCI Instructor Ashley Forde Moreau about her experiences with the CLASS. Learn about her journey with CLASS, facilitating MMCI trainings, and the importance of "ah ha" moments.
I'm originally from Houston, Texas, and my professional background is in Elementary Education. I've taught Kindergarten and 1st and 4th grade math/science. During my experiences as an elementary school teacher, I discovered how important it is to build an academic foundation with children in their earliest formative years. As an Infant/Toddler coach and MMCI Instructor, I have the opportunity to stress the importance of the role of early childhood educators in young children’s lives. And how their interactions help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners.
It’s been a wonderful journey. The teachers and providers I’ve worked with have had a wide range of experiences in the classroom. Our discussions allowed for meaningful and intentional conversations about their daily interactions with children. I enjoyed being able to shift their thinking in using the CLASS as a resource rather than just as an assessment tool. After learning more about the research and rationale behind CLASS, I know that they’ll focus on creating the best experiences and interactions with the children they serve.
The first challenge was to shift their perception of the CLASS tool. Yes, it’s used to observe teachers but, more importantly, it’s used as a learning tool. The SEE and KNOW sections of the CLASS Manual helped participants gain a deeper understanding of the tool. The Impact videos really allowed the discussions and “ah ha” moments to come to life. “Ah ha” moments are where the magic happens!
During one of the first sessions, the teachers were watching the infant videos. One of the participants remarked how amazing the teacher was and how exhausting it must be to do so much talking and interacting. By session 6, they shared that they were now talking to the infants in their care. Because of MMCI, they realized it WAS possible to interact with children like the teacher in the video.
That “ah ha” was a huge moment because she also admitted that, at first, she didn’t see how her talking more would help infants. After going through MMCI training she realized how just how important conversations between infants and adults are for infant development.
My goal was to stress that the CLASS lens is not about perfection, it’s about seeing your own strengths in the work that you do.
In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Behavior Management. Keeping with the Classroom Organization domain, Productivity is our next dimension of exploration. Looking through the CLASS lens, teachers who are high in productivity have a classroom that work like a well-oiled machine. Everyone is aware of the expectations and how things work in each part of the day. There is little instructional time lost during the day. In real life, we often do not stop to think about what makes a day more or less productive. By being intentional in how we structure our time, we can better understand the benefits of productivity in the classroom.
In our previous Behavioral Marker Series post, we focused on the often-misunderstood marker of “Disconnected Negativity.” As a reminder, CLASS behavioral markers are the bulleted lists of concrete examples located under indicators. You will find the indicators listed under each dimension’s face page.
Let’s dive right into our next challenging behavioral marker, “Evaluation.” Evaluation is found under the indicator of “Analysis and Reasoning,” in the dimension of Concept Development.
In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Regard for Student Perspectives. As we continue our journey through the CLASS manual, today we will move into our next domain, Classroom Organization. Let’s dive right into the dimension of Behavior Management. And speaking of diving, summer is here and temperatures are at an all time high, so I’m sure we are headed to our local community pool to cool off!