What do you do when faced with a task that just seems daunting and overwhelming? What helps you feel ready to take on new challenges? Do you ask for help from others who have been there, done that? Seek advice from an expert? Well, when it comes to professional development, Teachstone is here to help. We have years of experience researching and finding solutions to the challenging task of providing teachers with meaningful and effective professional development.
At our recent 2016 InterAct CLASS Summit, we asked a group of educators to share their biggest difficulties in implementing professional development within their organizations. Despite the group’s diverse backgrounds, they reported similar challenges:
We agree that these are really challenging issues and we’ve been thinking a lot about ways to address them. We have many ideas to share with you, so many in fact, that we’re turning this blog into a four-part series discussing strategies such as strengths-based and practice-based coaching, individualized and data-driven PD, and online solutions. Our next post will discuss ways to overcome the #1 challenge: Teacher Buy-In, and offer suggestions on how to introduce effective interactions and the CLASS tool to teachers.
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.