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 :)
There’s a powerful shift happening in early childhood classrooms across Louisiana. While education leaders across the country have visions of bringing high-quality, impactful interactions to all of their students, leaders in Louisiana have taken deliberate steps to turn their vision into a reality.
It’s been a great year. You have just conducted some professional development trainings for the group of teachers you are coaching. You got the opportunity to visit their classrooms and see them in action, do formal and informal CLASS observations, and had countless coaching conversations. You see that it’s all beginning to click. You have the teachers’ buy-in, and the motivation is high.
Image: Edward Zigler, assisted by Marilyn M. Smith, presents the first CDA Credential to Margaret E. Wright on July 24, 1975, in Washington, DC (Source - Council for Professional Recognition).
For 54 years, Head Start has prepared children for Kindergarten by providing services that foster growth in their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. In the words of former President Obama, “For millions of families, Head Start has been a lifeline. And for millions of kids, it’s been the start of a better life.”