Ok my Affiliate Trainer friends, remember when I closed out the trainer panel on the final day of training and sent you off into the wild to begin conducting observation trainings? You were totally comfortable and prepared, right?
Even if you nailed all of your video facilitations and are completely immersed in CLASS and the language of the Manual, conducting your first observation training is, well, terrifying. Not only will you have up to 17 trainees looking to you to keep them engaged over two full days, you will be responsible for making sure they get reliable.
All of a sudden, you can’t remember which facilitator guide is which, where you put your Master Code Justifications, or how to use the pacing guide. Oh, and the projector is suddenly broken. You are a nervous wreck.
Too dramatic? Maybe. But I remember my first training and it was no walk in the park. But fret not, each training becomes a little easier and you get better and better each day. To help you on this journey, here are a few reminders and tips as you prepare to conduct your first observation training:
When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
As a CLASS Group Coaching (MMCI) instructor, the sections of any given two-hour session may feel, at times, very goal driven. These sections titled "Know," "See," and "Do” are interconnected. In particular, it is possible to consider "Do" within "Know," and "See." When an instructor supports in-the-moment experiences that connect new knowledge to current practice, they make the CLASS dimensions more relevant to the educators' daily work. But how can we infuse more “Do” into “Know” and “See?” First, let's re-cap what happens in each section.
I have a confession to make. Recently, I used vacation time to stay home and watch Season 6 of The Walking Dead. I know, I know. How could I have let myself miss a whole season? Oh, and I feel a little bad about taking the time off from work too, but this was very nearly an emergency! I mean it was only weeks before Season 7 of the season premiere. I had to do something. Don’t judge.
While I was watching, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I felt like I had actually walked through a herd of zombies, but couldn’t quite place why it felt so familiar. Then it hit me—I had unknowingly created zombie-like participants during at least two of my previous CLASS trainings.