This month's Affiliate Trainer spotlight is on Marilyn Rice from Richmond, Virginia. Marilyn is a veteran CLASS observer, originally certifying in 2006 after Virginia adopted the CLASS as a part of its Quality Rating and Improvement System. She became an Affiliate Trainer in 2008.
Marilyn is the Quality Coordinator for the Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus program, which is sponsored by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. As a part of this 4-year grant, they are developing an exemplar model of an effective preschool program and CLASS plays a role in this program! In addition to being observed with the CLASS, teachers participate in coaching sessions led by faculty and staff from the Center for Advanced Teaching at Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia.
Whether she is conducting trainings or reviewing the CLASS observation reports on participating classrooms, Marilyn uses the CLASS in her work every day. To quote Marilyn, “I live it; I work with it everyday.”
When asked what advice she has for new trainers, she replied that trainers should never think that they know everything in the manual. She explained that providing a CLASS training is less about telling participants the answers to their questions and more about scaffolding their learning by taking them into the manual and helping them find the answer. Marilyn’s advice to a new trainer? “If someone puts you on the spot, say ‘Let’s look it up together and find the answer.’”
If you would like to be featured, or if you would like to nominate a colleague for this spotlight, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
As a CLASS Group Coaching (MMCI) instructor, the sections of any given two-hour session may feel, at times, very goal driven. These sections titled "Know," "See," and "Do” are interconnected. In particular, it is possible to consider "Do" within "Know," and "See." When an instructor supports in-the-moment experiences that connect new knowledge to current practice, they make the CLASS dimensions more relevant to the educators' daily work. But how can we infuse more “Do” into “Know” and “See?” First, let's re-cap what happens in each section.
I have a confession to make. Recently, I used vacation time to stay home and watch Season 6 of The Walking Dead. I know, I know. How could I have let myself miss a whole season? Oh, and I feel a little bad about taking the time off from work too, but this was very nearly an emergency! I mean it was only weeks before Season 7 of the season premiere. I had to do something. Don’t judge.
While I was watching, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I felt like I had actually walked through a herd of zombies, but couldn’t quite place why it felt so familiar. Then it hit me—I had unknowingly created zombie-like participants during at least two of my previous CLASS trainings.