In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Behavior Management. Keeping with the Classroom Organization domain, Productivity is our next dimension of exploration. Looking through the CLASS lens, teachers who are high in productivity have a classroom that work like a well-oiled machine. Everyone is aware of the expectations and how things work in each part of the day. There is little instructional time lost during the day. In real life, we often do not stop to think about what makes a day more or less productive. By being intentional in how we structure our time, we can better understand the benefits of productivity in the classroom.
The Example: Studying for Finals
Many of us can relate to being an adult learner. And adult learning sometimes means exams, as in the end of semester finals. There may be multiple subjects to study and various ways to do so. After you finish preparing for one subject, there are still others to choose from (Choice when finished). Minimizing distractions allows optimal learning to take place. Notifying friends and family when your study hours are and turning off electronic distractions is a must (Few disruptions). Before beginning to study, you have organized and gathered all the supplies you need (Effective completion of managerial tasks). And finally, to reward yourself at the end for all that hard work, you plan to choose something fun to do (choice when finished).
The Example: Driving to Work
Everyone has their own morning routine, such as taking the same route to work or school every day. When a routine is in place, there is little time lost due to confusion or wandering because the route never alters. The rules and instructions have been established and practiced many times (Students know what to do, Little wandering). Every now and again a detour sign or a blocked road throws off our routines and routes. When this happens, we find ourselves wandering. We search for the next step or look for guidance to a more familiar route. Turning on our GPS tracker and following the instructions get us back on track (Clear instructions).
The Example: Airport Security
Sometimes we don’t think about how transitions happen in our adult lives, but when you stop and look, they are all around! Take airport security, for example—especially when it is running efficiently (and sometimes it does)! To get to the first security checkpoint, one must wait in a long line. During this wait, security agents begin talking to the crowd. You find out what is not allowed through the checkpoint, and how to prepare to go through the scanner (Embeds a learning opportunity within the transition). Once through the checkpoint, travelers send their luggage through a scanner. Then, you walk through the second checkpoint. This organized system, with all pieces working together, makes the transition from security to the concourse move quickly (Brief).
The Example: Party Planning
Preparing for a party can be a huge undertaking! It takes intentional planning and advanced preparation for a gathering to run smoothly. If the party has games or activities, you need to know how to play the games and all the rules ahead of time (Knows lessons). Having all of the game pieces and materials organized and at the ready means less running around after guests arrive (Materials ready and accessible). When materials are set up and ready to go for each activity, guests can move through the event seamlessly and with little stress and wait time!
What are some of your favorite real-world examples of Productivity? What adult experiences reflect Productivity (in all ranges) each day?
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The frameworks that power great interactions with children can be applied to relationships with our coworkers. In our webinar Staying In-Sync: Creating Positive Interactions Between Teachers, panelists Kate Cline, Professional Services Manager at Teachstone, and Deidre Harris, Educational Consultant at Team Agreements, led a lively discussion about how to foster healthy relationships among your staff. They identified a few key areas that make up the foundation of this work. Let’s get into it!
The time that you spend with all your staff together is limited, so how can you make the most of it? It’s crucial to ensure that you’re building strong relationships with staff and creating a structure that best works for your team. After all, you want your team to leave your in-service trainings feeling safe to grow, proud of their collective success, and supported with the tools they need to make an impact.
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.
When was the last time you experienced strong feelings in your classroom? Probably every day. Working with children is demanding and can bring up a lot of strong feelings.
Are you considering your own self-regulation needs as well as those of the children you’re working with? How can we process all of what we're feeling so we can move through challenging moments and make a difference for each child in our classrooms?