Creating a culture of continuous learning is critical to building educators’ abilities, confidence, and in creating consistency of quality teaching practices. But, this is no easy feat. Time constraints, access to relevant and quality professional development, and lack of learning communities are known barriers and have been found to impact teacher job satisfaction.
The good news is, that despite these challenges, there are opportunities to strengthen staff empowerment and to continue to build educators’ confidence to increase consistency of best practices.
Meet Them Where They Are
To empower staff at all levels, it’s critical to identify where each staff member is in their professional learning. Once identified, use that information to better tailor professional development and learning opportunities. This individualized approach for professional learning is no different than individualizing instruction for children. Meeting them where they are gives them the best opportunity for success, for learning, and for growth. Professional learning platforms like myTeachstone and online subscriptions like CLASS® Video Library, not only encourage individualized opportunities but offer flexibility and for professional learning to happen anywhere, anytime.
Offer Further Career Development Opportunities
Build pathways that allow staff members to further advance their careers. From enrolling them into courses to complete the hours required to earn or renew their CDA credential, to helping find relevant offerings that offer continuing education credits, leaders, mentors, and coaches can help promote teachers’ career development. And, this strategy is even more critical when professional learning is tied to pay scales. As there is evidence to support teachers who have higher pay are more likely to stay in their position than those with lower pay.
Create Opportunities to Build Community
Promote teacher efficacy through establishing practices that allow for peer-to-peer collaboration, sharing, and learning. The concept of shared and collective efficacy has been proven to directly impact student achievement. Beyond community within your own program, promote opportunities for teachers to stretch their community. The CLASS® Learning Community is one such avenue, connecting educators across the globe.
Share Relevant Resources Across Various Modalities
Adults, like children, often have preferred styles of learning. When sharing relevant resources that are designed to support and empower teachers, source various modalities. Consider podcasts for auditory learners, videos and webinars, for visual learners, and relevant blog posts for written learners. Sharing a mix of resources across modalities offers the best opportunity for success.
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How should you begin thinking of equity as a verb? What are the first steps for businesses and schools to take to create change? What steps can educators do within the classroom to be more mindful and culturally competent?
In today’s episode of Impacting the Classroom, you’ll hear a conversation between Dr. Darlene Estes-Del Re, Marnetta Larrimer, and Dr. Rosemarie Allen. Dr. Allen is the President and CEO of the Center for Equity and Excellence and has a 30-year background as an educational leader on a mission to ensure that all children can access high-quality, developmentally appropriate, and culturally appropriate early childhood programs.
Listen in to learn what the effects of the recent push for more equity have been, what an equity audit is, and how the American Rescue Plan funds can be used to support the effort for more equitable classrooms.
On November 9, 2021, Teachstone hosted the Building Confidence and Consistency in Your Head Start Program webinar with Sara Diamond, Director of Partnership Development at Teachstone, and Michelle Crawford, CLASS® Specialist.
Together, Sara and Michelle provided tips for helping educators dig deeper in their interactions and feel more confident in their teaching practice. Before diving into the tips for building confidence and consistency, Michelle shared a powerful quote from Lori Archer, a Head Start teacher:
November is National Family Engagement Month. As educators, we’re often focused on supporting children’s academic, social, and emotional growth in the classroom. But, it’s important to remember that families are a child’s first teacher. This month, we’re celebrating how to take learning home and support families’ opportunities to impact their child’s development and learning through the power of interactions.
As part of your family engagement initiatives this month (and beyond!), consider how you can help families understand and leverage their interactions at home. To help, check out these tips and tricks below that you can share with the families in your early childhood program!