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?
As we know, teachers often struggle with Instructional Support—and the focus of their professional development often lands here. While Instructional Support is worth improving, it's also important to remember that ALL interactions can affect child outcomes.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a Sunday at the NHSAFall Leadership Institute conference in Arlington, Virginia. During a full-day session on deepening understanding of the CLASS system, we took a close look at the Instructional Support domain, while considering strategies to help increase the effectiveness of teacher-child interactions.
Long before my time developing online professional development for teachers, in my first year of teaching middle school, I received a gift I would never get again. My principal gave me one day and three rules:
Imagine classrooms filled with children who are comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and working cooperatively with their peers. Can this become the norm in classrooms across the nation? Yes, because this is what consistent and effective Teacher Sensitivity (TS) cultivates in the classroom. Research tells us that teachers who are aware of and respond to each child, supportively facilitate the ability of all children in the classroom to explore actively and learn.
Our video bloggers are back to continue their discussion about Instructional Support (did you catch the first video?). This time, Sarah and Mary-Margaret drill down into a common classroom activity—children playing at a water table—to discuss some of the many learning moments that can take place with a teacher's facilitation.