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NAEYC 2015 Reflections

30 Nov 2015 by Emily Doyle

This year’s annual NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) conference was a whirlwind for me! Scheduled to co-deliver two presentations in one day, I’m sure you can understand why it felt like a blur!

Hare are some things I learned in my short time at the conference:

It is critical to balance fidelity with flexibility.

I had the honor of co-presenting with two of our Teachstone ambassadors, Teresa McGregor-Oster and Cheri Moring, as well as several others from Head Start of Northeastern Nevada. Together, these coaches, teachers, and administrators shared their stories about how they have implemented CLASS with success through development of a practice-based coaching model. One important tenet they discussed is “fidelity with flexibility,” meaning they held true to certain research principles of practice-based coaching, while making adjustments based on their unique program needs. This is a critical component of any CLASS implementation, and it was fascinating to hear how one program did it. I encourage you to contact Teresa to learn more.

Implementation challenges are very real, but not impossible.

I also had the honor of presenting with our partners Sarintha Stricklin (from Louisiana) and Jacqueline Vincson (Chicago) on their CLASS implementations. They shared their successes, but maybe most inspiring, was hearing their challenges. Both partners discussed obstacles to impact ranging from technical issues all the way to lack of buy-in. However, as leaders they demonstrated optimism, creativity, and resourcefulness in the face of those challenges—and I’m proud to say Teachstone supported, and continues to support them and other partners in finding solutions.

Teachstone is having an impact!

One of the best, and most validating experiences for me was hearing from administrators and coaches about how they are using Teachstone’s free resources to aid their quality improvements. In case you didn’t know, we offer much more than this blog on our website. Check out everything else you can use (for free!) to make your life a little easier and deliver on the promise of CLASS.

Did you attend NAEYC, and if so, did you find it as inspiring as I did? Please use the comments to share what you learned!

  Talk to a state liason about implementing CLASS in your organization.