In 2013 Mamie joined Teachstone as a MyTeachingPartner (MTP) coach and now enjoys her role as a Professional Development Specialist. She loves using the CLASS system to help teachers increase and enrich classroom interactions. Her diverse background as an early childhood and elementary teacher in schools around the world helps her to form meaningful connections with educators. Having worked with children in New Mexico, Germany, Guam, Alaska, Japan, Washington DC and Florida, she appreciates the powerful impact effective interactions have on children. Mamie lives in Florida with her husband and two young daughters.
Favorite teacher: Patsy Giffin, Drama (High School)
Across the nation, teachers learning about CLASS are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many teachers may wonder, “Will people think I’m crazy if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for teachers to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.
Hey, sports fans! Don’t you just love watching your favorite players on a big game day, scoring points and making it all look so easy and effortless? Of course, we know nothing in sports is really effortless, even for gifted athletes with abundant natural talent. One of my favorite quotes comes from NBA All-Star Kevin Durant: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” Intentional, consistent practice is key to any athlete’s success. But even top athletes rely on the support of a coach to improve their game. Players need coaches to help identify their unique strengths and grow their talents while increasing their skills in areas of challenge. To do all this, coaches spend lots of time observing athletes while they practice—giving real-time feedback based on current efforts, breaking skills down as needed to cultivate mastery, and encouraging players to keep trying in pursuit of their goals.
I lived in rural Japan for three years. While there, I became very accustomed to ordering the same types of entrees at restaurants due to my limited ability to read menus and my unwillingness to eat foods outside my comfort zone. So imagine how overwhelmed I felt when I returned to the States and had to decide on one entree amid pages and pages and pages of delicious options. It took a few weeks to learn how to navigate my way through these endless options without wanting to close my eyes and blindly point while ordering my meals.
Let’s face it, change is hard. Changing what we do or how we do it, whether the change is personal or professional, is seldom easy. So why should we encourage and embrace change? Would you believe a lobster can help shed some light on the answer?
At our 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:
Uneven teacher skill sets
Planning and logistics
We're excited to introduce the third post in ourfour-post series discussing strategies to help with these common challenges.
If you’re anything like me, the first time you explored myTeachstone you were intrigued, excited... and, admittedly, overwhelmed. With all the ins and outs of the system, including a massive professional development library with over 500 resources, it’s easy to feel this way.
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.
Imagine classrooms filled with children who are comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and working cooperatively with their peers. Can this become the norm in classrooms across the nation? Yes, because this is what consistent and effective Teacher Sensitivity (TS) cultivates in the classroom. Research tells us that teachers who are aware of and respond to each child, supportively facilitate the ability of all children in the classroom to explore actively and learn.
We recently reposted a popular blog post about asking open-ended questions. We are thrilled that early childhood educators are becoming more intentional about engaging children in meaningful learning conversations. But has this ever happened to you?