Bridget Hamre, Ph.D. is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Teachstone. Dr. Hamre’s areas of expertise include student-teacher relationships and classroom processes that promote positive academic and social development for young children and she has authored over 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts on these topics over the last 15 years. Her research documents the ways in which teacher-child relationships and teachers' social and instructional interactions support children's development and learning and may help close the achievement gap for students at risk of school failure. Dr. Hamre is a co-author of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and, in partnership with Dr. Robert Pianta, led early work to scale the use of CLASS as an assessment and professional development tool across the country. She collaborates with the Office of Head Start on their implementation of the CLASS as a part of the federal monitoring process and consults with numerous states on their Quality Rating and Improvement Systems. In all of this work, her goals have been to ensure the CLASS is used in ways that accurately assess children’s experiences in classrooms and that provide teachers with the feedback and support they need to best support the children in their classrooms. Dr. Hamre received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her masters and doctorate in clinical and school psychology from the University of Virginia.
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.
At Teachstone our mission is to help every child reach their full potential by measuring and improving the interactions that matter most. For the last decade our measurement tool, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) has been used in the Office of Head Start’s (OHS) Designation Renewal System (DRS). The use of CLASS in the DRS has helped to drive important improvements in children’s classroom experiences—but we are incredibly excited by recent changes to the DRS rules that will enhance the use of CLASS not just as a measure, but as a tool to support teachers and leaders as they work to improve quality—ensuring that every child in their program has access to the powerful teacher-child interactions that drive development and learning.
Three years ago I watched as white men and women, dressed in white polo shirts and carrying guns, walked down my street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Later that day, Heather Heyer, a young woman lending her voice to those protesting the racist and hateful actions of those gathering in our town, was needlessly killed.
There’s a powerful shift happening in early childhood classrooms across Louisiana. While education leaders across the country have visions of bringing high-quality, impactful interactions to all of their students, leaders in Louisiana have taken deliberate steps to turn their vision into a reality.
Since I joined Teachstone as Chief Impact Officer a few months ago, I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about opportunity gaps in education. In a great op-ed from 2013, Prudence Carter and Kevin Welner, co-editors of Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance, wrote:
On August 1 I joined Teachstone as Chief Impact Officer. If my name sounds familiar, it may be because I am one of the authors of the CLASS and a co-founder, with Bob Pianta, of Teachstone. For the last 20 years, I’ve spent my days researching ways teachers can best support children’s and adolescents’ development and learning. I’ve conducted many studies, written many papers, and trained doctoral and post-doctoral candidates who have gone on to do even more and better work in this area. Most of those 20 years I’ve worked at the University of Virginia’s Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) and have had the privilege of working with incredible colleagues at UVA and elsewhere. Honestly, it’s a dream job: getting paid to think, write, and travel to talk about our work and find inspiration in the ideas of others. So, not surprisingly, when I tell people about my new job, I get a lot of quizzical looks.
At this year’s InterAct Summit, Bridget Hamre delivered a powerful message during the opening keynote. We pulled out some of her key points into a two-part blog series, Interactions Are Our Core. Below is the second part of a two-part series on Interactions Are Our Core. You can find the first part here.