CLASS Specialists at Teachstone all take turns providing reliability support to anxious testers. We often see the same mistakes and misconceptions over and over again about how the CLASS works, and as my story below will share, how the behavioral markers fit into the coding process.
CLASS observer drift is a simple concept. It is a term we use to describe what happens when an observer becomes less reliable. The more an observer drifts, the less likely the CLASS data he or she collects will be valid.
I recently heard about risk competency and big body play at a local teaching conference. I have spent time considering this in relation to our Head Start program. One of the questions I have been asking myself is how some play that might be considered "roughhousing" will impact CLASS scores in Behavior Management. Behaviors that typically appear aggressive (pushing, hitting, building a "sword" out of markers and then using it to inadvertently hit another child) lower the score in this dimension. Do I change the way I view this interaction in terms of CLASS? Does this put me at risk for no longer being reliable? What advice do you have regarding this?
While it’s gratifying and inspiring to observe warm, nurturing, and instructionally dynamic classrooms, unfortunately that’s not always the case. I received an email the other day from an observer who conducts observations for a research project in middle and high schools. He was concerned about interactions he had observed, and wanted to make sure he was doing CLASS coding correctly. Since we have a blog on the website about classrooms scoring all 7s, I thought it would be important to bring up the other end of the continuum as well.
You recertify once a year to make sure you are staying true to the tool—that’s essential. But what happens between annual recertifications, during the course of each year? The data you collect is a crucial component of a comprehensive professional development plan and research. So, how can you really be sure you are conducting fair and accurate observations at all times? We have the answer for that: CLASS Calibration!
I had to get CLASS certified for my job, but I’m not really doing anything with it. Is there anything else I can do with my certification?
What a great question. It’s one I’ve heard a few times in the field—an observer was asked to get certified to code once, and then she doesn’t get another opportunity to use her CLASS skills. The good news is that there are paying opportunities for reliable observers.
Have you ever meditated? One of the most challenging aspects of this practice is clearing your mind from day-to-day thoughts that pop into your head. If you meditate, you know that trying to push those thoughts away doesn’t work—in order to free your mind you must first acknowledge those distracting thoughts before you can return to your “moment of zen.”
During one of Teachstone’s regional trainings, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a father-daughter team in my training; the mother was also in attendence but in a different session. I know they say that the family that prays together stays together, but perhaps it’s also true that families who code together stay together!
Meet Samantha St. Clair, probably the youngest certified CLASS observer I know.
I recently blogged about why recertification is important (bottom line: it’s your yearly chance to test yourself against master-coded videos). But what about between recertifications? How do you ensure that you stay reliable throughout the year?