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Teachstone Blog

The 5 Coaching Strategies that Helped Me Connect with Resistant Teachers

28 Dec 2016

"I’ve just begun my journey into the world of coaching. I am eager and excited about this opportunity to help pave the way for more effective teaching. I’ve recently been given my list of classrooms that I will be working with and I’m anxious to get started. I get ready to meet my first teacher, Ms. Linda, and I just know that she will be excited to meet me and we will form an instant bond and work together for the benefit of the children in that classroom.

"I will not get many opportunities to have face to face visits with Ms. Linda, so I know this first one is crucial. I walk through the door, introduce myself, and am immediately brushed off. Ms. Linda does not have time to talk to me right now, she explains that several children need her assistance. She’s also got to get the morning snack ready, and her assistant is out for the day so she is flying solo. Ms. Linda does not seem as excited about this meeting as I would have hoped.

"She quickly shares that I’m the third coach that has been in to work with her, and although she knows that I have to do my job, she’s fine and really doesn’t see how I can help her. A CLASS observer was in her room last week, and she doesn’t understand what the big deal is. She’s been teaching for over 10 years and she’s tried it all. So, anything I have to share with her is stuff she’s already heard."

Sound familiar?

Topics: Professional Development, Coach Tips Read More

The 7 Deadly Sins to Avoid When Taking Teacher Learning Online

27 Dec 2016

If you’re a Teachstone blog-reader, you may have noticed that we focus on being “strengths-based” instructional coaching all the time. But sometimes it’s equally healthy to reflect on the stuff that didn’t go so well so we can avoid it next time. (By the way, if you’re looking for something purely strengths-based, Gina Gates recently wrote this fantastic post for the myTeachstone blog on ways to support resistant teachers using an online platform.) 

This post is about what not to do. These are the seven deadly sins of taking teacher learning online:

Topics: Professional Development, Coach Tips Read More

Our Future Workforce: Why Instructional Support Matters More Than Ever

29 Nov 2016
 

Regardless of how you voted in the recent election, it’s fair to say the results revealed deep differences in how Americans view the economy and their place in it.

A quick look at the numbers suggests overall job growth and lower unemployment since 2008’s recession. But taking a closer look, the jobs that did increase were either low-paying/low-skill OR required a college degree which is increasingly difficult to afford.

Topics: Professional Development, Research, Leadership and Policy, Data Read More

Overcoming Logistics & Time Challenges in Your New Professional Development Initiative

09 Nov 2016

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:

  • Getting buy-in
  • Uneven teacher skill sets
  • Planning and logistics
  • Time constraints
  • Sustainability
  • Costs

We're excited to introduce the third post in our four-post series discussing strategies to help with these common challenges.

Topics: Professional Development, Coach Tips Read More

What the Head Start Performance Standards Mean for Coaching & Professional Development

13 Oct 2016

As a former teacher, teacher leader, and teacher educator, I understand at my core the tremendous impact that a high-quality teacher can have on the lives of children and their families. But, I also know the deep feelings of frustration we often feel as teachers and leaders when we just cannot figure out to connect with, how to motivate, how to engage with those children within our classrooms that we are desperately trying to reach but just fail to figure out.  

Topics: Professional Development, Head Start, Events Read More

Top 6 Challenges in Implementing CLASS PD– Establishing Teacher Buy-In

29 Sep 2016


 
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:

  • Buy-in
  • Uneven teacher skill sets
  • Planning and logistics
  • Time
  • Sustainability
  • Costs

We're excited to introduce the next post in our four-post series discussing strategies to help with these common challenges. 

Topics: Professional Development, Implementation, Leadership and Policy Read More

Teachstone and Sesame Workshop Are Getting to the Heart of Great Teaching Together

06 Sep 2016

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: AN INVESTMENT IN OUR TEACHERS

As a former teacher and teacher educator, I deeply understand the tremendous impact that a high-quality teacher can have on the lives of children and their families. But I also understand how difficult the job of teaching can be every hour of every day of every week of every year. So many teachers enter and stay in the classroom without the ongoing professional development they need to stay current with research and strategies that can help them perform their craft to its fullest potential. Even those who are provided professional development by their school district or program often experience stale, “one and done” workshops that are not integrated into a larger learning curriculum and that are, at best, dry and uninspiring.

Topics: Professional Development, Announcements, In the News, Products and Trainings Read More

How CEUs Can Keep Teachers in the Classroom

03 Aug 2016

“Nearly half of all beginning teachers will leave their classrooms within five years, only to be replaced by another fresh-faced educator.”

LA Johnson/NPR

Teacher turnover is a huge problem with costly effects. There are many reasons why retaining teachers is tough: low wages, lack of time and support to plan and individualize instruction, and a growing need for ongoing professional development (just to name a few). As the former director of a large university-based early child care center and a consultant to Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout the Southeast United States, I had the opportunity to observe this revolving door of early childhood educators one too many times. I saw teachers enter their classrooms with the best of intentions and a high need for support.  

Topics: Professional Development, Leadership and Policy Read More

6 Challenges of Implementing a New Professional Development Initiative

12 Jul 2016

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.

Topics: Professional Development, Implementation Read More

The Case for Developing Reliable CLASS Observers in Your Coaches

05 Jul 2016

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?

Topics: Professional Development, Coach Tips Read More
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