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.
Empowering and equipping coaches with the information and resources they need to mentor also empowers the teachers they're coaching. Check out these coaching resources that discuss how to provide feedback based on CLASS data, how to prepare teachers for a CLASS observation, and much more.
Imagine you’re a cook in a restaurant. It’s what you do every day, you are passionate about it, and consider yourself pretty darn good at it. One evening, the owner of the restaurant decides he is going to attend a meal “as a guest” and is served one of your featured dishes: chicken pot pie. You emerge from the kitchen, excited to find out what he thinks, and his response: “Taste this. What would you do differently next time?”
Imagine this scenario: As a coach, you walk into a classroom to conduct an informal CLASS observation followed by a coaching conversation. During this conversation you might ask the teacher to share some of the highlights of her week and challenges that she has been facing. You also plan to share what you observed during your time in the classroom, some areas of strength that you noted, and opportunities for growth. You have grand plans of how this visit will go.