We are excited to have Sara Beach guest blog for us today. As a former Teachstone Staff Trainer, she frequently presented on topics such as Helping Teachers with the Instructional Supports, through active, adult-learning approaches. She has been an Infant-toddler teacher, center director, education specialist, coach-mentor, and early childhood college instructor, and her highest honor has been supporting teachers.
The two-day CLASS Observation training is a very intensive process that requires integrating and synthesizing massive amounts of new information.
Learning the CLASS measure in just two days can be overwhelming and exhausting—I will be the first to admit that! I still remember “not quite getting” that Quality of Feedback dimension, scratching my head over the difference between integration and connections to the real world and, worse, not passing my first reliability test. Oh, the horror! This was my job on the line!
But here’s the good news: with the patient coaching by my mentor, Dr. Sarah Hadden, I did ultimately pass the test, and over the past few years I have learned some important lessons:
You can certainly become a reliable coder after a two-day Observation Training (which is our goal). However, to truly be able to utilize the CLASS measure fully, in all its depth, is an ongoing process requiring much deeper discussions.
For my next several blog posts, I’ll explore some difficult CLASS concepts at a much deeper level, so that we can figure out the best ways of approaching teachers with all of the amazingness that is the CLASS measure. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks, and in the meantime use the comments to let me know what CLASS concepts you’ve struggled with. We can learn from one another!
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If you've ever been through a CLASS Observation training, you are probably familiar with the graphic below. Research tells us that improving teacher-child interactions is a process that includes many pieces.
The first step is to identify a teacher’s strengths and opportunities for growth, which can be done through a CLASS observation. Once you have this data, you can share it with teachers through a formal report, a face-to-face conference, or a feedback session. You’re off to a great start, but now what?
Originally published December 22, 2016
Regard for Student Perspectives as defined by CLASS® is“the degree to which the teacher’s interactions with students and classroom activities place an emphasis on students’ interests, motivations, and points of view and encourage student responsibility and autonomy.” This often looks like following children's lead so that you can anticipate their needs during an activity.
Understanding how to effectively employ CLASS's Regard for Student Perspectives while maintaining a constructive learning environment can be challenging. In the following paragraphs the fictional preschool professional, Mrs. Jones, will illustrate the indicators of Regard for Student Perspectives at circle time. I’ll then discuss her exemplary examples:
In this episode of Impacting the Classroom, our host Marnetta Larrimer meets with two of Teachstone's own: Dorothy Sanchez and Claudia Perez. They discuss the need for equitable coaching practices in the classroom and how coaches can build better relationships with the teachers they partner with. Listen here, or read the transcript below!
We know that one of the most important factors in children and adolescents' success in school is the quality of their teachers—and specifically the effectiveness of the daily interactions that support students' social and academic learning. Today more than ever, teachers need time to learn and reflect on their own professional practice.
But too often professional learning experiences are ‘sit and get’ presentations and disconnected from teachers' daily practice. And many research based professional learning programs have failed to demonstrate impact at large scale because they are often highly resource intensive and do not fit well into schools professional learning plans.