Recently, at the InterAct conference in Austin, we presented the parallel process of CLASS in 50 incredibly fast minutes. We had fun putting together a presentation that was interactive and that modeled as many of the dimensions, indicators, and behavioral markers as we could. In fact, we gave the participants a score sheet so they could rate us—a take off on the CLASS score sheet.
This month, I had a chance to interview MMCI Instructor, Shawn Kaplan. In her time as an MMCI Instructor so far, she has facilitated an impressive number of teacher cohorts, impacted CLASS scores, and has some insightful reflections for new instructors.
Part of my responsibility as a CLASS specialist is to open up the world to my participants and expand their CLASS lens within the four walls of their classroom/organization. Of course, sometimes that’s easier said than done.
This month we’d like to take a minute to spotlight one of our awesome Making the Most of Classroom Interactions (MMCI) Instructors, Tonya Schadle. Tonya went through the three-day MMCI Instructor training in September 2016 and completed her certification requirements to become a certified MMCI Instructor. She is also a certified Infant CLASS Trainer. In her journey to become even more “CLASSy” than she already is, she agreed to speak to me about her work with CLASS in education.
Making the Most of Classroom Interactions (MMCI) has 10 sessions, but there is a secret "11th session" that you won't find in the materials: Instructor Reflection. Read one instructor's thoughts below.
Recently, we spoke with Jane Franco, a Provider Specialist with the Sunshine Stars, a QRIS in Florida. Jane is a certified MMCI Instructor, with both toddler and Pre-K CLASS observer certifications under her belt. She currently coaches about 15 teachers through the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties; she is also facilitating two unique MMCI cohorts. Our interview is below!
You're in a coaching session trying to help your teacher understand how to be more intentional in her interactions with children in the dimension of Concept Development. When you start to explain what analysis and reasoning look like, she looks at you with that quizzical look in her eye. You suggest, “Let’s look at the Dimension Guide on page 19 and let’s read these informational paragraphs.
I was quite taken aback recently when an intern completing her first semester with a group of young toddlers told me, “My goal when I started the semester was to use more self-talk and parallel talk, but the toddlers are now talking, so that’s no longer needed.”
How to respond? Clearly she assumed that the self- and parallel talk supported language for very young children, and the effectiveness ended there. But that's not really true.
If you’re a Teachstone blog-reader, you may have noticed that we focus on being “strengths-based” instructional coaching all the time. But sometimes it’s equally healthy to reflect on the stuff that didn’t go so well so we can avoid it next time. (By the way, if you’re looking for something purely strengths-based, Gina Gates recently wrote this fantastic post for the myTeachstone blog on ways to support resistant teachers using an online platform.)
This post is about what not to do. These are the seven deadly sins of taking teacher learning online: