In February, I (me, Hannah!) had the unique, wonderful opportunity to attend the national Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) conference. Interestingly, the first question that I was asked by a fellow participant was “Aren’t you entering the enemy camp?”
I had the pleasure of presenting a session on the CLASS at a recent conference. Before beginning, I was doing my usual checks to be sure that everything was ready, that participants were getting signed in, and that no one was roaming the hallway trying to locate the session. As I stood near the doorway, two teachers approached and inquired about the session saying, “Will you be explaining how we do CLASS?”
When I was little, my mother encouraged my siblings and I to help her work in our family garden. An avid gardener herself, I still remember the joy in learning simple lessons, such as the need to water our plants regularly—sometimes more than once on very hot days. I can’t tell you how excited we were when we saw our first pea plants sprout!
Leveraging technology to support professional development for teachers is a growing trend in education—one that's really just getting started. If you've been keeping up with our blog posts, e-books, and research papers, you've heard us talk a lot recently about how technology is empowering teacher growth by:
Editor's Note: In November 2013, Teachstone attended NAEYC's annual conference. One presentation stood out more than others—a research project investigating the use of CLASS and The Project Approach. A veteran Head Start teacher told true classroom stories about how his class changed while implementing CLASS Instructional Support within the Project Approach framework. Teachstone recently reconnected with the researchers leading the study to check in on its progress. This blog series, written by guest blogger Carol Bolz and her colleagues, tells the story of this project and recounts key classroom anecdotes that highlight the powerful pairing of the Project Approach implementation bolstered by effective CLASS interactions.
By Rachel Demma, Policy Director, Early Care and Education Consortium
Teachstone is thrilled to be a member of the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC). As an ECEC member, Teachstone joins with leading national, regional, and independent providers of high-quality child care and early learning programs and services to shape federal and state policy in support of improving care and education for children and families.
In my March blog, The Access vs. Quality Debate in Early Childhood Education, I discussed the ongoing debate in early childhood education systems building about increasing access or increasing quality. One thing I failed to do was provide a definition for “quality” early childhood education. I am not alone in this omission. If you were to review most federal, state, and local legislation on early childhood education, you would see a void in defining the word quality. I would argue that this lack of clarity around a central word severely impacts our ability within the nation, state, or locality to move forward in early childhood education systems building. Without a central definition to strive for, to drive for, and to focus upon, it is nearly impossible to build the infrastructure needed to build a quality system.
Do you ever stop to think whether you are making a difference? We live in a world with so many causes worth fighting for—access to medical treatment, cancer research, affordable housing, civil rights, clean drinking water ... the list goes on. But I can think of few causes that are as critical and worth fighting for than our investment in young children. Because giving children every opportunity to be great drives the future success of just about every worthy initiative out there.
Joe is fascinated by insects, and Liam is really into baseball. When teaching the concept of patterns, we may consider how patterns are demonstrated in baseball and the insect world to hook both Joe and Liam into learning. We frequently differentiate instruction based on students’ interests, and, as educators, we recognize the need to individualize learning opportunities for children in our classrooms. We may also differentiate based on learning styles.
Back in March, I was given an extraordinary opportunity to connect with Teachstone via its Ambassador initiative. What’s particularly exciting is the notion of engaging with an organization and others that share my passion and dedication to improving the professionalism of early care and education teachers. The results of the dialogue among the Teachstone team, other Ambassadors and I will be far-reaching, touching our respective audiences across the profession in a meaningful and positive way.