I'm currently the Director of Community and Credentialing, but I've been with Teachstone since 2010! It's been amazing to work with such a growing and mission-driven organization. Being at an education company has taught me so much about the importance of interactions (in and out of the classroom). I've been lucky enough to serve in a wide variety of teams and roles across Teachstone. Some of my previous experiences include providing customer and affiliate support, writing for the content team, delivering trainings, conducting CLASS observations, managing our products ... and now leading our community work! I can't wait to see the amazing things that will happen when we bring together groups of like-minded individuals who are passionate about impacting child outcomes--and I'm honored to be part of the journey in cultivating a community around this.
When I'm not at Teachstone, you might find me singing Motown hits around campfires, spending time with my nieces and nephews, tasting wine at local vineyards, cooking up something yummy in the kitchen, hiking with my pup, or kayaking a Virginia river with my husband.
CLASS observer drift is a simple concept. It is a term we use to describe what happens when an observer becomes less reliable. The more an observer drifts, the less likely the CLASS data he or she collects will be valid.
It’s hard to deny that the CLASS Observation Training is effective in its primary goal: developing reliable CLASS Observers. Our impressive pass rates are proof of this. However, there is a lot more to conducting CLASS observations than just “being reliable” (AKA choosing valid scores). Field assessors must also learn the observation protocol that is outlined in Chapter 2 of the CLASS Manual. The manual provides guidance on field protocol; however, it is often up to organizations to develop their own standards for data collection.
If you’ve ever read the Teachstone blog, then you may have come across this very popular post written by Teachstone’s very own CLASS coding expert and client success guru, Nikki Croasdale. In her post, she likens the Quality of Feedback dimension to the old Tootsie Roll Pop commercial featuring a little boy asking a cartoon owl, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop?” Comparing this classic question to a common Quality of Feedback question (“How many back-and-forth exchanges make a feedback loop?”), she describes how CLASS defines this dimension, concluding that there is no magic number; when it comes to feedback loops it’s about quality, not quantity.
A couple weeks ago, a friend shared this short video below from The Atlantic with me. Turns out, this video was everything I love about good media: it was concise, included simple takeaways, and gave me something to think about (long after the video ended). I couldn't help but think about how a trainer might use this video, particularly in a teacher training or with a coach audience.
A couple weeks ago, a friend shared this short video below from The Atlantic with me. Turns out, this video was everything I love about good media: it was concise, included simple takeaways, and gave me something to think about (long after the video ended).
Becoming a myTeachstone expert starts with spending every day in the system--and no one knows more about spending time in myTeachstone than our trusty account management (AM) team! I recently spoke to our resident experts to understand common challenges around using myTeachstone and heard one topic come up again and again: Reporting.
If you’re a Teachstone blog-reader, you may have noticed that we focus on being “strengths-based” instructional coaching all the time. But sometimes it’s equally healthy to reflect on the stuff that didn’t go so well so we can avoid it next time. (By the way, if you’re looking for something purely strengths-based, Gina Gates recently wrote this fantastic post for the myTeachstone blog on ways to support resistant teachers using an online platform.)
This post is about what not to do. These are the seven deadly sins of taking teacher learning online:
You’re a CLASS observer. You arrive to a classroom to conduct an observation but you quickly realize that there are multiple absent children. You wonder: What’s the minimum number of children that need to be present in order for this data to be valid?
As I sat in on an Infant Train-the-Trainer session, participants reflected on their previous experiences with CLASS: learning about it, using it to observe classrooms, supporting teachers, and training others to observe. One participant spoke up: “CLASS is a measure you have to get wrong to get right.”