Imagine this scenario: As a coach, you walk into a classroom to conduct an informal CLASS observation followed by a coaching conversation. During this conversation you might ask the teacher to share some of the highlights of her week and challenges that she has been facing. You also plan to share what you observed during your time in the classroom, some areas of strength that you noted, and opportunities for growth. You have grand plans of how this visit will go.
If you're a CLASS observer, you've probably found yourself in a situation where you have to make inferences or rely on contextual evidence when assigning scores. However, it should always be your goal to minimize subjectivity and assumptions. You have to prevent your emotions, opinions, and ideas that are not a part of the CLASS tool from influencing scoring. Achieving an emotionless state of objectivity while observing can be incredibly challenging. It takes practice to recognize when objectivity is threatened and respond accordingly.
There are many systems and tools available for programs to in their assessment and quality improvement. Some measure similar things and some measure very different things. Depending on your program goals, you may feel that one assessment tool is all you need, while others may feel that they need to use several tools.
This is why we are thrilled to be part of a true collaboration: a jointly produced document providing an overview of the alignment between the domains of the pre-K CLASS measure and the NAEYC Accreditation for Programs Serving Young Children (NAEYC Accreditation) standards and criteria.
In her last blog post, Carol Bolz introduced a research project on coaching with CLASS Instructional Support and the Project Approach. There were many great examples about how the teachers used what they had learned to engage their students. We’d love to hear from you. How have you helped a teacher build these Instructional Support interactions? How have you, as teachers, encouraged these types of learning experiences?
In February, I (me, Hannah!) had the unique, wonderful opportunity to attend the national Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) conference. Interestingly, the first question that I was asked by a fellow participant was “Aren’t you entering the enemy camp?”
Editor's Note: In November 2013, Teachstone attended NAEYC's annual conference. One presentation stood out more than others—a research project investigating the use of CLASS and The Project Approach. A veteran Head Start teacher told true classroom stories about how his class changed while implementing CLASS Instructional Support within the Project Approach framework. Teachstone recently reconnected with the researchers leading the study to check in on its progress. This blog series, written by guest blogger Carol Bolz and her colleagues, tells the story of this project and recounts key classroom anecdotes that highlight the powerful pairing of the Project Approach implementation bolstered by effective CLASS interactions.
Editor's Note: Over two years ago, Marcy Whitebook wrote this blog on the SEQUAL, a classroom and program assessment tool to provide teachers and administrators, the people who spend large parts of their lives caring and teaching young children, with data on the quality of their work environments. At Teachstone, we recognize school and classroom environments must be healthy, positive places where adults can thrive in order to unlock their own potential to provide the best teaching to children of all ages.
Today, we continue to be inspired by Dr. Whitebook and her colleagues who shine the spotlight on ECE work environments, and ECE compensation, in particular, a critical facet of work environments measured by the SEQUAL. Dr. Whitebook is a featured speaker in this recent story on the PBS Newshour about the issue.
We are thrilled to have Marcy Whitebook, PhD, guest blog for us today on the subject of adult learning environments.Marcy began her career as a teacher of young children in the 1970s. Over the last four decades, she has been engaged in research, public education, policy development, training, and advocacy efforts focused on the early care and education workforce. She now directs the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley.
We’re heading down an unfamiliar sidewalk with a multitude of other pedestrians. Never having been in this part of the city, we reach the four-way intersection with some trepidation. The tangle of roadway, traffic lights, and swift-moving vehicles is intimidating. Should we even cross? It doesn’t seem to be the best idea to put our heads down and blindly dodge and dart across the roadway as we see others attempting. And then, voilà, a crosswalk! A place of authority for those on foot. Now with a clear sense of direction and purpose, we look left, right, left and then step out onto the street. Like magic, cars stop and wait while we make our way across, able to now move rapidly toward our destination.