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!
Hey there, Teachstone community! My name is Stephanie Lewandowski, and I am the Senior Product Manager for myTeachstone. Before joining Teachstone, I built digital products for education companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. I’m passionate about delivering impactful products, particularly the tools that make the everyday work of teaching and learning a little bit easier. As a parent, and as a product manager, I know how invaluable early childhood education is, and I’m inspired by the teachers in both my personal and professional life.
We know positive relationships are important, but factors such as absenteeism, racial or cultural differences, and other biases can make it difficult for teachers to form those meaningful relationships with every child in their class. And, after a tumultuous 2020-2021 school year, teachers and students alike may need stronger relationships more than ever before.
Ask any educator why they do what they do, and they’ll most likely respond ‘for the children’ without missing a beat. It’s why I was a teacher and why a lot of my friends were teachers. It’s the impact we can have on the children in our care that motivates us, drives us, and is the foundation of our passion.
I can look back and for every single class I taught, I can rattle off the names of the children who I had a super strong relationship with, and those that were on the other extreme–a relationship that was weak, or fragmented.
Teachstone, developer of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) included in 23 states' Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and used by Head Start programs nationwide, today unveiled "Banking Time: Investing in Relationships," a new suite of tools to improve the quality of interactions between teachers and specific children birth through third grade, and in turn, to build strong, positive, equitable teacher-child relationships.