At Teachstone, we know that our work only succeeds if it is in partnership with you. So as we reflect on the significant challenges of 2020 and early 2021, we want to pause and celebrate the numerous ways in which you, and educators across this country, focused on what matters most – supporting students through meaningful interactions.
You used technology in new ways to learn about how to most effectively support students through virtual trainings. You engaged in webinars, online conferences, and studied independently to improve teaching skills. You pushed forward despite incredibly challenging circumstances, and we were honored to partner with you in those efforts.
From the start, Teachstone has had a singular goal - to ensure all children and adolescents had access to life-changing teaching. We knew the power that great teachers had to inspire, support, and guide students’ learning and development. In partnership with educators and policymakers across the country, we have made great progress toward this goal - but there is so much more to do.
As we enter 2021, we are laser-focused on fulfilling our mission by doing more to support the learning and developmental outcomes for every child.
In keeping with that work, we are excited to share that Teachstone has recently become a Certified B Corporation. This designation means that our organization meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. We’re excited by the opportunity to join leading businesses from across the country using business as a force for good.
We hope you will join us in 2021 as we continue to listen, respond, adapt, improve, and work with you towards a world where every child experiences life-changing teaching. Over the coming months we invite you to gather virtually for discussions and best practices around returning to in-person teaching, supporting students with special needs and dual language learners, responding to the increased gaps in early literacy and reading development and so much more. As always, we know that there is nothing more important for students’ educational experiences than the educators who work tirelessly to support them - and we are here to support you.
Stay tuned and thank you!
We’re still soaking up the wisdom shared by our many, many excellent speakers at the spring 2021 InterAct Summit. From its inception, Teachstone has been an organization based in research. Because the CLASS is reliable and valid, teachers and programs trust it to give meaningful, accurate, and actionable information. To learn more about the current work being done in the field, we invited co-founder Bob Pianta to give an update on new research findings.
At Teachstone, we are all in on early learning. The research shows us that, with the help of effective educators, there is so much potential to build a strong foundation for children’s learning well before elementary school. But some research, including the Head Start Impact Study and the research on Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K, has complicated the story. Researchers found that in some cases, gains made in early childhood education seemed to fade out by around third grade.
Follow-up research has added to the narrative.
The foundations for language and literacy success are built in the early years. Trajectories for reading proficiency in third grade and beyond are set in birth to five early learning environments. Knowing this, preschool and early elementary educators work hard to provide literacy-rich environments and interactions, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the plans of even the most veteran teachers. These disruptions have changed learning across the board, including in the critical area of early literacy.
We were really happy to receive an article examining the use of CLASS in American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Programs. And we were equally happy when lead author, Jessica Barnes-Najor, a researcher at Michigan State University, agreed to speak with us. In conjunction with her work at MSU, Jessica is a co-investigator for The Tribal Early Childhood Research Center (TRC). Read below to learn more about this important research.