I may not be Cher on top of the battleship USS Missouri, but I have sung that famous song "If I Could Turn Back Time” numerous times since becoming a Teachstone MyTeachingPartner™ (MTP) Coach.
I was introduced to the CLASS tool through my prior work with Head Start. I believed in CLASS and the opportunities it afforded me in coaching teachers. I began to “coach” teachers within the Head Start program in what I thought was the most effective way. Sure, we had some "We could do this or that differently" reflective moments, but it wasn’t until I joined Teachstone and became trained as an MTP coach that I had the “If I could turn back time” ah-ha moment.
Had I only known then what I know now! Coaching has become passion work for me. I now know that the CLASS tool serves various fundamental roles in the field of education. I see the CLASS tool as the central foundation to MTP coaching, rather than the observation tool to measure quality and effective interactions. Using a strengths-based approach has helped me develop strong, trusting, and valuable partnerships with the teachers I have worked with (partnerships being the key word!).
It is my hope to connect with other coaches and take the time to voice the challenges and successes we face in "the field.” We are all here for the same reason: to support teachers in becoming more effective in their interactions with children to improve children’s outcomes.
Please use the comments below to submit a success or challenge you may be facing related to coaching teachers. I look forward to reading your submissions!
"Plan to be better tomorrow than today, but don't plan to be finished."
--Carol Ann Tomlinson, U.S. Educator
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.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.
Even top athletes rely on the support of a coach to improve their game. Players need coaches to help identify their unique strengths and grow their talents while increasing their skills in areas of challenge. To do all this, coaches spend lots of time observing athletes while they practice—giving real-time feedback based on current efforts, breaking skills down as needed to cultivate mastery, and encouraging players to keep trying in pursuit of their goals.
As coaches, we've all encountered resistant teachers. Resistance to coaching can take many forms. You might encounter a teacher who is direct, making it clear they don't want your help. Or a teacher who is passive, putting off your meetings and recommendations, or acting like they're open to coaching but never actually changing their behavior. While this can be frustrating, you shouldn’t assume the teacher is to blame.