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!
I've realized that the simple rules of gardening can be applied to my clients’ CLASS needs at their centers and organizations. As an account manager and former client services representative, one question I hear from clients pretty regularly is “I have Certified CLASS Observers conducting formal and informal observations with my teachers. Now what?”
The truth is, collecting observation data without following up with professional development is not a method for success. Just as plants in a garden need water and sunshine, teachers need continuous care and attention from coaches and others tending to their growth. You might be thinking, But measuring my teachers’ success with observations is the first step, right? You’re correct. Providing professional development opportunities, however, goes hand in hand with collecting your teachers’ observation data. Both practices must coincide in order to see continuous success.
As the school year comes to a close and you’re planning for next year, keep in mind this idea: it’s not enough to plant a seed and measure its growth. Combining CLASS observations with professional development is essential to see positive results at your organization. If you feel you’re now ready to take the next step towards continuous growth, visit our Coach or Teacher Toolbox to learn about some of Teachstone’s professional development programs. Or give my team a call—866-998-8352; we love hearing from you!
Happy Growing :)
The dysfunctional design flaw that separates systems of caregiving (childcare) from systems of education (public schools), has been laid bare during the pandemic. For instance, rather than experiencing even hybrid moments of normalcy, most children started the school year virtually, because teachers with young children took permissible and understandable leaves to care for their families. Let’s be clear, the lack of teaching staff has contributed to a deficit of meaningful interactions for this country’s children.
Over the course of nearly a decade, beginning in 2010, the Inter-American Development Bank ran a randomized, longitudinal study in Ecuador called Cerrando Brechas (Closing Gaps), using CLASS to better understand the characteristics or practices of those teachers most successful in closing the achievement gap between the poorest children in their classrooms and their better-off schoolmates (you can read more here).
Closing Gaps found that regardless of a teachers’ age, IQ, or academic or professional credentials, it is teachers’ classroom behaviors and practices – specifically, the way in which teachers interact with students - that is most strongly associated with children’s improved learning outcomes.
In today’s world, there isn’t much technology can’t do. It can help you stay connected to family and friends, keep you on track to achieving your fitness goals, and can even adjust your thermostat while you’re away from home.
And now, with myTeachstone, it can promote positive child-outcomes through facilitating on-going, meaningful, and continuous improvement efforts.
As a CDA with CLASS facilitator, I now recognize that CLASS also helps us think about how we can be present and responsive in supporting the curiosity, engagement, and persistence of adult learners.
I am blessed to be able to support CDA learners, many of whom are returning to formal education for the first time in many years. Some of these learners come from previous educational experiences that were not supportive, that left them feeling that they weren’t good at school or weren’t competent students. But with the right support, these learners can grow their persistence as well as their sense of competence and confidence.