CLASS Specialists are always thinking about the complexity of the CLASS tool as we prepare for our trainings. As a trained CLASS observer, I am comfortable observing and recognizing quality interactions that fit in the tool. But I needed a strategy to convey this information to those who may not be as familiar with the tool.
As it turns out, using an analogy is a perfect way to make the complex relatable, less overwhelming, and more familiar to our participants.
When I train or coach educators that aren’t familiar with the CLASS tool, or are brand new to it, I like to use this analogy of the body to introduce CLASS:
Analogies can transform a message, concept, or technical topic into terms anyone can understand. Analogies are powerful, because they allow us to convey complex or technical information and ideas to an unfamiliar audience.
Here are five benefits of using analogies. They:
Did you notice all the concept development going on right there?
Analogies are one of the more powerful devices in your arsenal of rich communications tools. By using them, you help make your message clear, simple, believable, relatable, and memorable.
Your analogies will be most effective if they are:
The next time you are talking about CLASS with others, think about what kind of analogies you can use to help you provide this new knowledge to others. Analogies are like sandwiches; you can make them out of anything.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.
Even top athletes rely on the support of a coach to improve their game. Players need coaches to help identify their unique strengths and grow their talents while increasing their skills in areas of challenge. To do all this, coaches spend lots of time observing athletes while they practice—giving real-time feedback based on current efforts, breaking skills down as needed to cultivate mastery, and encouraging players to keep trying in pursuit of their goals.
As coaches, we've all encountered resistant teachers. Resistance to coaching can take many forms. You might encounter a teacher who is direct, making it clear they don't want your help. Or a teacher who is passive, putting off your meetings and recommendations, or acting like they're open to coaching but never actually changing their behavior. While this can be frustrating, you shouldn’t assume the teacher is to blame.
Across the nation, teachers learning about CLASS are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many teachers may wonder, “Will people think I’m crazy if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for teachers to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.