Is this your program’s first year conducting CLASS observations? Do you have new teachers who have never been observed? Implementing any kind of change in an organization can be challenging, so it’s important to provide many opportunities to discuss the factors behind the change and allow your staff to engage in open-ended discussions.
Here are some conversation points to help your team feel at ease before CLASS observations begin.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is having its moment in education. SEL and CLASS program developers and practitioners would be well-served to better understand how SEL and CLASS initiatives are intricately intertwined, and how they can help drive positive outcomes in each area.
At our recent 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 next post in our four-post series discussing strategies to help with these common challenges.
What do you do when faced with a task that just seems daunting and overwhelming? What helps you feel ready to take on new challenges? Do you ask for help from others who have been there, done that? Seek advice from an expert? Well, when it comes to professional development, Teachstone is here to help. We have years of experience researching and finding solutions to the challenging task of providing teachers with meaningful and effective professional development.
One of my favorite parts of InterAct: A CLASS Summit was talking with people who represent so many different organizations that use the CLASS tool. One of those wonderful folks was Andrea Zabel of the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood Development, Office of Child Care, Maryland EXCELS branch. Maryland EXCELS is using the CLASS tool in a way that allows programs to truly focus on improvement—not only on their scores.
As I sat in on an Infant Train-the-Trainer session, participants reflected on their previous experiences with CLASS: learning about it, using it to observe classrooms, supporting teachers, and training others to observe. One participant spoke up:
“CLASS is a measure you have to get wrong to get right.”
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.
As I began to delve into the results of our first-ever State of CLASS survey data, I thought, “Am I about to be out of a job?”
Immediately I noticed that our users are “doing CLASS” the right way. Not only do they have lots of experience—both in early childhood and with the CLASS tool—but they’ve taken that experience, paired it with what they know to be best practice, and are implementing CLASS just as it was intended: as a tool to measure the effectiveness of classroom interactions and as a way to improve teacher practice and drive children’s learning.