This month’s spotlight is on Michelle Crawford from Austin, TX.
To say that June’s Affiliate Trainer, Michelle Crawford, is a busy woman would be an understatement. Michelle is the Quality Initiatives Program Manager at Workforce Solutions Capital Area Child Care Services in Austin, Texas. Her organization is a part of a network of 28 Workforce Solution boards across the state that among other things, oversee the Texas Rising Star Program, which is similar to a QRIS, as it focuses on the quality of early care across the state.
The Capital Area program has included the CLASS in their work because of the focus on effective teacher-child interactions. They have also included the CLASS as a part of their school readiness initiative. In addition to conducting observations for monitoring purposes, they mentor teachers, and provide CLASS-based PD driven by each teacher’s CLASS scores.
In addition to supporting teachers from programs that participate in the Rising Star Program, they are also using myTeachstone, our online subscription service, to help organizations that are getting ready to apply to join Texas Rising Star to improve program quality.
Michelle oversees all of the CLASS work for her organization. She trains and mentors her staff that conduct observations and provide professional development (did I mention that she is an Affiliate Trainer for Pre-K, Toddler, and Infant CLASS?), answers questions about the CLASS and provides Introduction to the CLASS trainings for providers. Finally, she and her team are responsible for all of the Rising Star programs within Travis County that receive support to maintain quality standards.
When she isn’t busy managing this multifaceted program, Michelle teaches courses in early childhood at Austin Community College and Texas State University (my niece’s alma mater – go Bobcats!).
Michelle is considered by many to be the “CLASS-Guru” for Central Texas! A self-professed “super CLASS nerd,” Michelle is always looking for new things to learn about the CLASS.
If you would like to be featured, or if you would like to nominate a colleague for this spotlight, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
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.