It happens to every trainer, right? Your participants have finished coding a video and during your discussion you say, “The master code for [insert dimension here] is [insert # here]. How many of you were within 1?” You see a lot of heads nodding, but you also see someone who looks incredulous. You know that the best practice is to have participants who are reliable share their evidence first. And generally, the evidence that they share helps the participant who is not reliable understand why they were off.
However, there are those times when someone is passionate about the code – the unreliable code that it. They are certain that they are right and the master coding team is wrong. I once had a participant ask me if the people who coded the videos were reliable. I kept my smart aleck retort to myself and said, “Yes, our master coders have a great deal of expertise in the CLASS.” The individual was still not swayed, so I asked if they could see a score of 3 instead of the 2 they assigned. The master code was a 4 and that would make them reliable. This person crossed her arms across her chest and said, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree.” I did not try to dissuade her in the moment because we needed to move on and I could tell that she was not amenable to changing her thinking, so I made a mental note to check in with her at the next break.
You may find that you encounter a participant who wants to argue the code even after you’ve thoroughly discussed and explained it. It’s not wise to get into an argument about the code, so don’t waste your energy trying help them understand the code when they have made up their minds. They may want to argue that the master code is wrong, but we know that it isn’t. When participants are convinced that their unreliable code in accurate, don’t waste your breath trying to change their minds in the moment. Instead, use this interaction as an opportunity to help them deepen their understanding of CLASS content and the coding process and not on fighting about the codes.
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.