We are excited to have Sara Beach guest blog for us today. As a former Teachstone Staff Trainer, she frequently presented on topics such as Helping Teachers with the Instructional Supports, through active, adult-learning approaches. She has been an Infant-toddler teacher, center director, education specialist, coach-mentor, and early childhood college instructor, and her highest honor has been supporting teachers.
If you work closely with teachers and your goal is to help them increase the effectiveness of their interactions, this blog post is for you!
As coaches, we tell teachers:
We say this to teachers so often that it just rolls off our tongues. But do we take our own advice when we are coaching teachers? It is difficult to learn, understand, and apply the CLASS Instructional Support dimensions intentionally and “in the moment.” Developing these skills takes “buy-in,” openness, self-reflection, and willingness to change and grow. Encouraging teachers toward more effective interactions means we must inspire commitment, hard work, and an acceptance that they may fall short sometimes. This can only happen within the context of safe, supportive relationships built around encouragement and authenticity.
How do children feel when they hear more negative feedback than positive? Might that be how some teachers feel? Building upon teachers’ strengths is a core tenet of the research-proven coaching model, MyTeachingPartner Coaching (MTP). Change or growth rarely happens outside of positive, supportive relationships. As coaches, managers, and trainers, do we make the same effort with teachers that we are asking for them to put in with children? I encourage you to read the list of bold phrases above, this time considering your relationships with the teachers you coach. Our work together with teachers should be seen as collaborative: “I’m here to support you, and we will learn and practice these Instructional Support strategies together.”
We can all benefit from putting on our CLASS lens and engaging in self-reflection about our interactions. To this end, Teachstone is excited to roll out our new one-day Instructional Support Strategies training, available October 2013. At this training, we'll take a closer look at how we may better engage teachers in this critical learning process by intentionally building rapport, relationships, and a collaborative spirit. I hope to see you there!
Exciting news! Teacher materials are now available in Spanish for Infant/Toddler and Pre-K CLASS Group Coaching. Both videos below discuss what is included, when cohorts can begin, and the process behind preparing and translating these materials. The first video is in English and features Campbell Buie and Richard Aguilar. The second video is in Spanish and features Sofia Rodriguez and Richard Aguilar.
"I’ve just begun my journey into the world of coaching. I am eager and excited about this opportunity to help pave the way for more effective teaching. I’ve recently been given my list of classrooms that I will be working with and I’m anxious to get started. I get ready to meet my first teacher, Ms. Linda, and I just know that she will be excited to meet me and we will form an instant bond and work together for the benefit of the children in that classroom.
It’s been a great year. You have just conducted some professional development trainings for the group of teachers you are coaching. You got the opportunity to visit their classrooms and see them in action, do formal and informal CLASS observations, and had countless coaching conversations. You see that it’s all beginning to click. You have the teachers’ buy-in, and the motivation is high.