DEAR MISS MATTERS:
I did a CLASS observation in a classroom where it was evident that the teacher and students enjoyed their time together, but I didn’t necessarily see many overt expressions of smiling and laughter. Are “grins and giggles” necessary for a high-range Positive Climate score?
It is important to remember that teachers are individuals with varying styles and demeanors. Their interactions don’t always have to be full of grins and giggles to be considered positive. This is especially important to keep in mind when using the CLASS measure to code older age levels, as the way that teachers relate to older students often differs dramatically from how they relate to younger children (and for good reason).
However, as CLASS observers, we do want to look for evidence that the teacher’s facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language show enjoyment and convey genuine interest and enthusiasm during interactions. A classroom high in Positive Climate is a warm and pleasant place where relationships between teachers and students and among students can thrive.
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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:
Educators learning about CLASS® are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many may wonder, “Will people think I’m weird if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for educators to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.
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!
The idea of being observed while performing a job can make anyone feel a little nervous. But understanding what CLASS observations are really about can help teachers relax and approach their classrooms with the same skill and attention they normally do.
Marnetta Larrimer, host of Impacting the Classroom, is today’s guest. She’s an early education professional and trainer who is currently a Professional Services Manager for Teachstone. In her conversation with Kate, she’s going to talk about what a CLASS observation is all about. Listen to the episode to hear what she has to say about what she would be doing while observing a classroom, who she’s paying attention to, and what happens after an observation. The answers you hear will help you feel more confident the next time you’re being observed.