Perhaps your school is already fully in person or using hybrid instruction. Or maybe you, like nearly half of the participants in our recent webinar Three Keys to Building a Blueprint for Reopening, are still completely virtual and looking ahead to when staff and students can be together again.
Regardless, it’s time to make a plan.
Whatever phase of re-opening you are leading, it’s critical to draft a blueprint that centers what children need most to learn and thrive: supportive, high-quality interactions. We know that leaders need concrete resources to make those plans come to life.
Based on conversations we’ve had with leaders and educators across the country, here are three keys to building your blueprint for reopening:
The research has shown that Emotional Support is important under any circumstances, and that’s true now more than ever. The return to in-person learning will be a joyful experience for most students, but many have spent a year dealing with varying degrees of trauma. Whether because of the loss of a loved one, the stress of an overburdened home, or the strain of prolonged uncertainty and social isolation, the events of 2020 and 2021 have taken a toll on children’s mental health. That’s why it’s crucial that educators have a plan to develop environments that are trauma-informed and place an emphasis on social-emotional development.
Students aren’t the only ones who need support. Your teaching staff have worked hard to provide children with a little bit of “normal” under nearly impossible circumstances. They need the resources to keep pushing forward. Online professional development can provide individualized support, develop your workforce, and bring positive interactions to the forefront as they head back into classrooms. Or, if your program is one of the many facing turnovers, get new staff members oriented around the interactions that matter most for young children - and build their needed credentials - with The CDA with CLASS®.
A large body of research shows that the opportunity gap between children of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds starts well before kindergarten. By many reports, this gap has only widened during the coronavirus pandemic.
The research also shows that these inequities can be addressed when young children have educators who provide high-quality interactions. By including CLASS® in your reopening plan, you can focus on what matters most, measure teachers’ progress, and create targeted plans to improve. All children deserve these high-quality experiences - help your teachers provide them, day in and day out.
To learn more about Teachstone’s resources, watch the recording of our webinar Three Keys to Building a Blueprint for Reopening. We would love to talk with you more about how we can help your school or program build back strong.
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When I was a teacher, I can remember taking care to intentionally plan differentiated, or individualized, instruction. And, when I was teaching pre-K I added the same level of intentionality to which materials were available in interest areas, and how I approached transitions throughout the day.
While any level of intentionally, specifically in relation to planning, is important -- I missed a critical opportunity in being more intentional in my interactions with the children in my class.
From coast to coast and around the globe, there’s a common thread that unites teachers: wanting to be better for their students.
Even when things are tough in education, educators are striving to be their best. Their dedication to equitable, ongoing development is what inspires Teachstone’s work. It will take a systematic, data-driven approach to reach the day when all children are afforded excellent education and care. And, we are enthusiastic partners in getting to that goal.
“What I think I’m most proud of as a professional in the field is our ability to show up, our ability to still do it, to still roll with the changes… We have to adjust. That is what educators did the entire year. We show up. We have a strong why. We love what we do.” This is a quote from Colleen Schmit from our recent webinar, Celebrating Great Teaching. She’s talking about how hard the last couple of school years have been for teachers. Teachers faced a similar difficulty 20 years ago when the United States faced a national tragedy.
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.