Every time I train, I always try to find ways to make the materials relatable to the participants’ lives, either by telling stories or by giving context to the materials. Recently, I found a new way to introduce the manual and the trifold: a way to help participants understand the difference between the two.
Almost everyone can relate to friendship. We all have a real friend, and unfortunately we all have a fake friend.
Since I know that a majority of my participants can relate to friendship, I relate the manual and trifold to friendship. I relate the trifold to a fake friend. A fake friend is someone who claims to have your back and says they wants your best interests, but in the end, they let you down because they can’t help you. You may have thought they were a true friend, but when it came to helping you make a hard decision, they are nowhere to be found. A fake friend is only helpful for certain things, but not all things. I tell the participants that the trifold is like a fake friend. The trifold has your back at certain times, but not all the time. A participant may reference the trifold while they are observing, but when it comes to making hard decisions and determining a code, the trifold can’t help because it doesn’t have the descriptive pages, examples or table 2.1, which contains guidelines about how to assign codes.
The CLASS manual, however, is your real friend, best friend, or “bestie.” Real friends always want the best for you and they will always have your back. The manual is a true friend, in the sense that the manual will always give you an adequate amount of information to help you to determine a code. The manual provides participants with detailed descriptive pages of each indicator, examples of what to look for, and table 2.1 to help make the final decision.
Since I have introduced this concept, participants have come to understand the value and difference of the two materials. We have to give more information than “don’t use the trifold." We have to explain why. The trifold has its benefits, but it can’t ever to be used to determine a code.
When I am done explaining the concept of fake/real friend, I always end with this:
“The trifold is good for when you are observing a classroom and you see a CLASS behavior, but are not sure where it fits. But the manual is what you use when you have to use your observation notes to determine a code for what you saw. Don’t confuse the roles of the two, because when you do, you will see the effects of the choice that you made.”
Have any additional tips on how to explain the differences between the CLASS manual and the dimensions trifold to your CLASS trainees? We'd love to hear your advice- feel free to share your thoughts in the commenting section below!
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When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
As a CLASS Group Coaching (MMCI) instructor, the sections of any given two-hour session may feel, at times, very goal driven. These sections titled "Know," "See," and "Do” are interconnected. In particular, it is possible to consider "Do" within "Know," and "See." When an instructor supports in-the-moment experiences that connect new knowledge to current practice, they make the CLASS dimensions more relevant to the educators' daily work. But how can we infuse more “Do” into “Know” and “See?” First, let's re-cap what happens in each section.
I have a confession to make. Recently, I used vacation time to stay home and watch Season 6 of The Walking Dead. I know, I know. How could I have let myself miss a whole season? Oh, and I feel a little bad about taking the time off from work too, but this was very nearly an emergency! I mean it was only weeks before Season 7 of the season premiere. I had to do something. Don’t judge.
While I was watching, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I felt like I had actually walked through a herd of zombies, but couldn’t quite place why it felt so familiar. Then it hit me—I had unknowingly created zombie-like participants during at least two of my previous CLASS trainings.