Regardless of the various journeys we take or paths we find ourselves on when we discover CLASS, we all believe in the power of interactions to change children’s lives. While our focus is on classrooms (broadly defined), as educators and passionate education advocates we believe in the right of all children to experience nurturing interactions, both inside and outside any classroom walls.
Our beliefs are grounded in vast knowledge and a wealth of science. Given this knowledge of the impact of those interactions, especially between children and their primary caregivers, I recognize a responsibility to speak up. I’m far from alone. Today, the U.S. Senate, led by the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said the Senate, in a bipartisan approach, will not remain idle or quiet while children are separated from their parents or caregivers at our country’s borders, disrupting the most fundamental bonds and putting young children and their healthy development in grave peril.
So often with my early childhood advocacy work, I turn to one of our largest, strongest advocacy organizations, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC. Please read their blog and let me know your thoughts and ideas.
A year ago, urged on by my insightful new colleague, Manda Klein, who was born and raised in Texas, I wrote a blog entitled, At Our Core. It praised the bipartisan efforts to discontinue the practice of separating children from their parents and caregivers at our country’s borders.
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.
On a hot summer day in July 2016, I had the good fortune of being the one not on vacation on our small policy and research team. Instead, I went to DC to serve as Teachstone’s representative for a convening of policymakers, researchers, and ECE practitioners. They were gathering to discuss if and how exemplary Head Start grantees might be identified for Leading by Exemplar, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Bellwether Education Partners.