Teachers, like all of us, have a limited bank of time and attention. So, it should come as no surprise if they sometimes lose focus on what matters most for kids: interactions.
Teachers don’t lose focus because they don’t want to have positive interactions with children. I’ve yet to meet a teacher who didn’t want to be a positive force in kids’ lives.
But think about the teachers you know. How do they spend their time? How many different things are they asked to attend to in the classroom? Limited time and an excess of competing demands are real barriers for the teachers you support.
We all know that coaches and teachers have many time constraints when working to provide high quality care for young children. We designed myTeachstone to help address time issues by providing numerous and varied resources on effective interactions that allow for meaningful professional development with less face-to-face time.
At our 2016 InterAct CLASS Summit, we asked a group of educators to share their biggest difficulties in implementing professional development within their organizations. Despite the group’s diverse backgrounds, they reported similar challenges:
Uneven teacher skill sets
Planning and logistics
We're excited to introduce the third post in ourfour-post series discussing strategies to help with these common challenges.
Are you a Coach that's new to myTeachstone? Maybe you've been coaching with myTeachstone but want to learn more. Check out our
new myTeachstone Webinar for a refresher. Hosted by Teachstone Product Manager, Emily Doyle, the webinar covers myTeachstone's roots in CLASS, Coaching Principles, Resources & Creative Solutions for Coaches, and more.
The Scoring Summary Sheet can offer observers and coaches a lot of insight on what's happening in a classroom during a typical day. Located on page 18 of the Pre-K CLASS Manual, Figure 2.2 shows how to create a summary of all six observational cycles. It also allows coaches to ask data-backed, specific questions like, "What's happening during small group that may be affecting a teacher's behavior management interactions?"
Coaches come from a wide variety of backgrounds, jobs, and educational experiences. You may have “coach” in your job title, use a specific coaching model, and have received formal coach-training; on the other hand, “coaching” may be a less official part of your role but you may often find yourself supporting teachers and colleagues.
Wherever you fall on the continuum of experiences, if you support teachers, then you could probably use a little support yourself as you strive to be the best mentor you can be.
If you’re anything like me, the first time you explored myTeachstone you were intrigued, excited... and, admittedly, overwhelmed. With all the ins and outs of the system, including a massive professional development library with over 500 resources, it’s easy to feel this way.
Technology is pretty cool. Just think, we have the ability to instantly share photos with friends all over the world, order groceries with a single tap, and in the case of myTeachstone, engage in relevant, individualized professional development from the comfort of your classroom or home. But there are certainly some challenges that technology can’t solve.
Imagine sitting down beside a music student as he practices a new song. As a mentor, your role is to provide feedback to the student on how well he’s interpreted the piece, translated the notations into an audible melody, and literally used his fingers to create music as dictated by the sheet music.
Now consider this: How successful would you be as a mentor if you did not know how to read music?