In January, I interviewed certfied MMCI Instructor Ashley Forde Moreau about her experiences with the CLASS. Learn about her journey with CLASS, facilitating MMCI trainings, and the importance of "ah ha" moments.
I'm originally from Houston, Texas, and my professional background is in Elementary Education. I've taught Kindergarten and 1st and 4th grade math/science. During my experiences as an elementary school teacher, I discovered how important it is to build an academic foundation with children in their earliest formative years. As an Infant/Toddler coach and MMCI Instructor, I have the opportunity to stress the importance of the role of early childhood educators in young children’s lives. And how their interactions help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners.
It’s been a wonderful journey. The teachers and providers I’ve worked with have had a wide range of experiences in the classroom. Our discussions allowed for meaningful and intentional conversations about their daily interactions with children. I enjoyed being able to shift their thinking in using the CLASS as a resource rather than just as an assessment tool. After learning more about the research and rationale behind CLASS, I know that they’ll focus on creating the best experiences and interactions with the children they serve.
The first challenge was to shift their perception of the CLASS tool. Yes, it’s used to observe teachers but, more importantly, it’s used as a learning tool. The SEE and KNOW sections of the CLASS Manual helped participants gain a deeper understanding of the tool. The Impact videos really allowed the discussions and “ah ha” moments to come to life. “Ah ha” moments are where the magic happens!
During one of the first sessions, the teachers were watching the infant videos. One of the participants remarked how amazing the teacher was and how exhausting it must be to do so much talking and interacting. By session 6, they shared that they were now talking to the infants in their care. Because of MMCI, they realized it WAS possible to interact with children like the teacher in the video.
That “ah ha” was a huge moment because she also admitted that, at first, she didn’t see how her talking more would help infants. After going through MMCI training she realized how just how important conversations between infants and adults are for infant development.
My goal was to stress that the CLASS lens is not about perfection, it’s about seeing your own strengths in the work that you do.
If you’ve been following the news lately, a lot is going on in North Carolina for young children and families! Leaders across the state—from businesses to state government to county municipalities—are leveraging partnerships that use research-based assessment and professional development models (like CLASS) to guarantee more of the state’s youngest residents have access to the high quality care they need and deserve.
Recently, I wrote about research showing us just how few children experience even “good enough” teaching from kindergarten to third grade. Only 4% of children in rural areas of North Carolina and Pennsylvania had access to good enough teaching during these critical early years and over 50% only experienced good enough teaching for 1 year or less.
Teachstone has been working hard for the past few months to provide you with case studies about various organizations who have transformed their classrooms through the use of the CLASS tool. We hope they help readers like you make informed decisions about some of the products we offer and introduce you to different ways you can impact teacher-student interactions.