As I sit on my flight from the BUILD Initiative's QRIS National Meeting in New Orleans, I cannot help but reflect on the presentations focused on improving the quality of early childhood education in our nation. One of the key factors that emerged in many of the discussions was the need to support the professionalization of the workforce through better compensation and professional development supports.
We at Teachstone will continue to work with our colleagues at The Ounce, McCormick Center, BUILD, and so many others to advocate for worthy wages for those individuals whom we trust with the care of our nation’s greatest resources—our children. It is absolutely unjust, unfair, and disgraceful that our educators and caretakers make less than dog groomers, parking lot attendants and fast food workers.
Today, I wanted to focus on the professional development support side of the professionalization of the workforce. As you know, since the inception of Teachstone in 2008, we have been dedicated to providing high-quality professional development to teachers, teaching assistants, and everyone else who wears a teaching or support hat. Our content innovation team spends countless hours listening to the field, researching best practices, working with instructional designers, and developing engaging content tied to the CLASS tool. We feel like the professional development we deliver is “Best in CLASS”.
However, we know that sometimes our word is not enough for licensing organizations, registries, or CDA review committees. Therefore, we engaged in a yearlong process with IACET to become an Accredited Provider of CEUs.
What is IACET?
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) is a non-profit association dedicated to quality continuing education and training programs. IACET is the only standard-setting organization approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for continuing education and training. As a result of the Accredited Provider status, Teachstone is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for programs that qualify under the IACET standard.
We chose to work with IACET because it is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice (NAEYC has named IACET as the accreditation agency of choice, and it is becoming the standard across the early childhood field).
What is a CEU?
The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) was created by IACET as a measurement of continuing education. One CEU is equal to ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.
These questions and others are answered in our FAQs.
As a result of this effort, on July 18 we will begin offering CEUs for Pre-K Observation Training (1.4 CEUs) and MMCI-Teacher Training (2.0 CEUs).
Participants do not need to take any additional steps or pay any additional money to receive the certificates. The CEUs are simply noted on your downloadable completion certificate. We know this is important as time and money are valuable resources that are already over-stretched. We’re adding additional courses for CEUs in the coming months. Keep an eye on our blog for updates.
I am so proud to be part of an organization that continues to put the teacher at the center of our efforts. We are committed to improving the teaching profession—both in improving teaching through high-quality professional development, but also in demonstrating that this is a valued and valuable profession. CEUs are one way of doing this.
Think about the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role today.
Perhaps it’s handling teacher turnover, managing your time while coaching over large geographic regions, or dealing with the disappointment of not seeing the results you thought you might see when you implemented that new professional development program.
We remember when we first learned about CLASS (it was a long time ago!). It was EXCITING! Interactions are at the core of every moment of the classroom day. And CLASS seemed to draw out everything that we knew would lead to engaged learners and long-term success for children. We wanted to shout CLASS from the rooftops!
Facilitating a brand new training can come with a mix of emotions like anxiety, nerves, and excitement. I recently experienced every one of those emotions and then some as I prepared to deliver a new training. I wanted to ensure that I learned the new content to fidelity, so I spent hours reviewing and studying. I viewed the training videos. I prepared some awesome reflective questions to ask my participants. I brainstormed activities to engage the group, and I rehearsed my PowerPoint slides. My facilitator binder and manuals have never seen so many highlighter marks!
With preparation complete, it was go-time! I put on my “CLASSes” and knew that if I focused on the importance of interactions, it would all come together. And it did.
This weekend the city that Teachstone calls home was taken over by hatred. Some of us witnessed the violence first hand. Others watched from afar through social media and television willing that our friends and coworkers would be safe.