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3 Easy Steps to Redirecting Misplaced Observations

09 Dec 2016 by Deirdre Manley

As CLASS trainers, you know this moment all too well: the moment when a participant offers an inaccurate observation during a training video discussion. The way you respond to the comment can make or break the training experience for the participant. The key is redirecting misplaced observations without shutting down the conversation—and this can be challenging. Here are some specific steps you can take to effectively redirect these comments:

Step 1

Ask the participants to share their evidence

“What did you see and hear during this observation that led you to your decision?”

Allow the participants to share, while you actively listen and jot notes on an easel. Solicit additional evidence from the group. Affirm all correct observations (Yes, there was a shared activity, which is a sign of relationships in Positive Climate), while redirecting any observations that aren’t accurate by referring participants to the manual. For example, if someone notes evidence of enthusiasm while you are talking about Teacher Sensitivity, you might say, “Okay excellent point with enthusiasm, let’s all turn to the face page for Teacher Sensitivity in our manuals to see if these behavior(s) fit within any of the indicators listed under this dimension.”

Hint: Since some of your participants may be new to the process, be sure to provide page numbers in the manual when you refer to specific pages (like the “Face Page” or “Descriptive Pages”).

Step 2

Get them into the manual.

Once everyone has turned to the face page, remind them: “Everyone, please take a moment to review indicators on the Face Page and examples within the high range Descriptive Pages [for a specific indicator].”

Tip: If you have one or two people in the group who tend to dominate the conversation, facilitating small group work can reduce impact of the “dominators” on the whole group. Many participants won’t speak up in a larger group, but may be more comfortable speaking in a small group. This strategy also provides opportunities for participants to dive deeper into the CLASS content and allows the trainer to guide participants through the coding process. 

Step 3

Reinforce participants’ understanding of the tool and the use of correct terminology.

As the participants begin to state their evidence/justifications, I will respond by restating what has been said and aligning behavioral markers using the CLASS language. For example, I might say something like: “I can see why you may want to code this behavior under the Awareness indicator, but it fits better under Responsiveness. Let’s all turn to the high range of Teacher Sensitivity on page X and take a few moments to independently read the indicator summary for Awareness and Responsiveness.”

Are you using a similar process to redirect your participants? Share your experiences, challenges, and strategies for facilitating video discussions in the comments below!

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