Teachstone continues to fulfill the important role of supporting Spanish-speaking partners who implement CLASS in their programs and communities. In an effort to strengthen our reach to this key base, Teachstone recently hosted a regional conference in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The regional conference offered several CLASS trainings in Spanish as well as translation services for English trainings. Trainings were held from November 4–8 at the headquarters and facilities of Camera Mundi Inc. Camera Mundi is the largest and most comprehensive provider of products, equipment, materials, and services to the educational sector in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
One of the highlights from this weeklong event included a Head Start forum, where Camera Mundi General Manager Jorge G. Díaz Rivera formally announced his organization’s partnership with Teachstone. Mr. Rivera expressed an enthusiasm for the collaboration.
Many local community members and leaders in the field of education attended the forum, which included an overview of Teachstone’s most recently translated products and services. Senior International Advisor Lorena Sernett highlighted Teachstone’s latest efforts in providing CLASS trainings, products, and services in Spanish. Bilingual Community Specialist Richard Aguilar also provided information on several new supports available to Spanish community members, including La Comunidad de CLASS, a Facebook page dedicated to Spanish-speaking educators.
Over 100 participants attended trainings during the week, most from local Head Start programs, but also a few from Colombia and the US mainland. Teachstone offered Spanish Pre-K and Infant-Toddler Observation Training, A CLASS Primer for Teachers in Spanish (Fundamentos de CLASS para maestros), and Train-the-Trainer for the Pre-K age level.
Overall, turnout for the regional conference in Puerto Rico was robust, and participants were eager to enhance their understanding of the CLASS tool. Teachstone looks forward to the collaborative mission alongside Camera Mundi—and is proud to play its role in advancing the education of children in Puerto Rico and throughout the world.
The time has come for hard conversations.
That’s the feedback we have been receiving from educators across the country. There are plenty of tough conversations educators are trained, taught, or feel equipped to handle with children and families - gently bringing up a developmental concern, facilitating a disagreement between students, or explaining what happened with the classroom goldfish are all part of a day in the life. But in the last year, since the killing of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police, educators are increasingly asking for help in communicating more comfortably with young children about diversity and difference.
We’re still soaking up the wisdom shared by our many, many excellent speakers at the spring 2021 InterAct Summit. From its inception, Teachstone has been an organization based in research. Because the CLASS is reliable and valid, teachers and programs trust it to give meaningful, accurate, and actionable information. To learn more about the current work being done in the field, we invited co-founder Bob Pianta to give an update on new research findings.
I was supposed to be an architect, instead I was a teacher of young children; it felt like my calling.
When I started my coursework, they tasked me with visiting multiple classrooms. It overwhelmed me when in some classrooms, children were crying, teachers were frustrated, and no one seemed to enjoy the day. I thought I had made a mistake. Thankfully, I had a professor who inspired me to continue. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the behaviors I observed in both children and teachers, the professor charged me to uncover the root of those behaviors.
And so, my journey to support social-emotional development began.
At Teachstone, we are all in on early learning. The research shows us that, with the help of effective educators, there is so much potential to build a strong foundation for children’s learning well before elementary school. But some research, including the Head Start Impact Study and the research on Tennessee’s voluntary pre-K, has complicated the story. Researchers found that in some cases, gains made in early childhood education seemed to fade out by around third grade.
Follow-up research has added to the narrative.