We’re so lucky at Teachstone® that people see value in what we do. Thank goodness—for many reasons—that stakeholders in the early childhood community urgently want to focus on teacher-child interactions. Yes, it means that we all have jobs. But it also means that word is getting out that these things really matter.
The one time it creates a challenge for us is when we release a new age level of the CLASS™ system. We want to release it when it’s ready, which means that the authors are confident that it measures the right constructs and can be used reliably. But we always get requests to use new age levels before they’re ready to go, and then we’re stuck. Push it out before we’re fully confident? Or say no to those requests?
We end up asking people to wait; we can’t put something out there that hasn’t been fully vetted. To give you a sense of why it sometimes takes so long, here’s the process the Infant CLASS tool went through (and is still going through!) to be ready by April:
The result, we hope, is an Infant CLASS manual that gets at the interactions that matter most for babies, and a training that will get observers ready to code.
Interested in learning more? Register to stay informed of our new Infant CLASS products as they become available.
Hey there, Teachstone community! My name is Stephanie Lewandowski, and I am the Senior Product Manager for myTeachstone. Before joining Teachstone, I built digital products for education companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. I’m passionate about delivering impactful products, particularly the tools that make the everyday work of teaching and learning a little bit easier. As a parent, and as a product manager, I know how invaluable early childhood education is, and I’m inspired by the teachers in both my personal and professional life.
At Teachstone, we sometimes hear from educators that they aren’t sure how to help facilitate exploration in their learning environments. The CLASS® Manual gives some specific examples, like asking the children to predict which ball will roll further, or making faces back and forth with an infant. But, in this blog post, I want to talk about how the learning environment space itself. The set-up and materials you use can support stronger interactions with children as well.
We know positive relationships are important, but factors such as absenteeism, racial or cultural differences, and other biases can make it difficult for teachers to form those meaningful relationships with every child in their class. And, after a tumultuous 2020-2021 school year, teachers and students alike may need stronger relationships more than ever before.
Ask any educator why they do what they do, and they’ll most likely respond ‘for the children’ without missing a beat. It’s why I was a teacher and why a lot of my friends were teachers. It’s the impact we can have on the children in our care that motivates us, drives us, and is the foundation of our passion.
I can look back and for every single class I taught, I can rattle off the names of the children who I had a super strong relationship with, and those that were on the other extreme–a relationship that was weak, or fragmented.