As we know, teachers often struggle with Instructional Support—and the focus of their professional development often lands here. While Instructional Support is worth improving, it's also important to remember that ALL interactions can affect child outcomes.
Although we categorize interactions into domains, dimensions, and indicators to better measure and understand them, the heart of the matter is RELATIONSHIPS. Relationships form the foundation for all the interactions that support child outcomes. Interactions happen all the time—whether they’re one-on-one or in groups, between students, or between a teacher and student.
Each moment-to-moment exchange has an outcome. As children watch responses from their teachers, they are learning how to respond themselves. The effectiveness of teacher responses can impact children’s outcomes.
Here are a few glimpses into one child’s day that paint a picture of how interactions can impact child outcomes:
Finally, did you notice how LANGUAGE fits in all of of these interactions?
When you get right down to it, you can see that interactions are built on feelings, guiding, and thinking, and they all start in a moment.
It’s what we DO with those moments that matter!
You’ve heard it said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I would propose this addition: “Except in teaching!” Of course, we know the first moments of the first day of school are critical to establishing a tone for the year ahead, and we put a lot of energy into those first moments. It’s always fun to prepare our classrooms for the new school year because we are full of renewed hopes and dreams.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve interacted with teachers, coaches, and administrators as the “new” year begins for the adults and children in their care. What I am hearing has a common theme—frustration, disappointment, hope. What is going on? Well, maybe we can use the CLASS to think this through.
So, it’s June and you have just wrapped up the year with your students. They have made tremendous progress over the course of the year. The routine of the day flows naturally, the expectations about what is and isn’t appropriate behavior is fairly clear to all of them (and to you), and you leave the school year feeling confident that they are ready for the new challenges that lie ahead. You go into the summer months looking forward to a much needed break, but also looking forward to your new group of students in the fall.