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.
When you hear the words “customer support,” you probably think of a large group of people separated into cubicles and answering every call with generic responses. When you call, you probably don’t expect to ever speak to the same representative twice.
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.
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.
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.
“How do I do CLASS in my program?”—that's a common question we get while talking to others about the CLASS tool. And while we always say, “You don’t do CLASS. You are CLASS!” we also want to answer that big question. So, to help explain the nuances to implementing CLASS, we are introducing a blog series—stories and interviews from school administrators who have successfully and effectively implemented CLASS.
Our first success story paints a picture of how the CLASS tool can be implemented in ways that fit unique settings. Lisa Luceno is the Director of Early Childhood at Briya Public Charter School in Washington DC. She is a passionate leader and had a lot to share about choosing CLASS, supporting teachers, and using CLASS in culturally diverse classrooms.