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
Practice and feedback is the key to CLASS® success. Even the most experienced certified CLASS Observers need practice and feedback to make sure their classroom observations remain fair and accurate. The best way to provide this is to use our Calibration product. Calibration protects your investment in reliable data collection.
Online Calibrations are available for Certified CLASS observers at all 6 CLASS levels. When you purchase an individual calibration, you’ll receive a video to watch and code on your myTeachstone dashboard. After submitting your codes, you’ll get an automated score report and a prerecorded webinar discussing the master codes.
On Wednesday, September 23, the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced that it will be suspending CLASS reviews for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. We sincerely hope this news relieves some of the stress our Head Start partners have felt as they grapple with new challenges related to pandemic conditions.
It is also our hope that programs will use this time to provide specific CLASS support to staff in order to strengthen interactions, regardless of the delivery model in which they are serving children.
At Teachstone our mission is to help every child reach their full potential by measuring and improving the interactions that matter most. For the last decade our measurement tool, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) has been used in the Office of Head Start’s (OHS) Designation Renewal System (DRS). The use of CLASS in the DRS has helped to drive important improvements in children’s classroom experiences—but we are incredibly excited by recent changes to the DRS rules that will enhance the use of CLASS not just as a measure, but as a tool to support teachers and leaders as they work to improve quality—ensuring that every child in their program has access to the powerful teacher-child interactions that drive development and learning.
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.