When my team and I got on the plane to return home from Chicago after attending the first InterAct: A CLASS Summit, we felt a renewed sense of excitement.
There were attendees from 34 states and 10 countries. The Summit had so many informative sessions between the bookends of an enthusiastic opening keynote and the reflective closing keynote—it was exactly what we were looking for!
Teachstone’s CEO, Rebecca Berlin, kicked off the Summit with an introduction to InterAct. Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, former Director of Office of Head Start, talked about the importance of teacher-child interactions. Dr. Bridget Hamre, co-founder of Teachstone, presented using a seed metaphor to paint the current early childhood landscape, which was engaging and meaningful.
On day 1, I decided to attend the "State Stories" track. From First 5 California’s pilot implementation using myTeachstone to Georgia DECAL’s implementation of MMCI and MTP to Arizona’s journey with the CLASS system, the sessions covered a ton of ground from the West Coast to East Coast. After my presentation about the entire CLASS family of tools moving into our QRIS, I attended the heartwarming presentation by Washington D.C.’s Briya Charter School on their work with dual language learners using CLASS.
It was fun chatting with the attendees during breakfast and lunch. I never thought I would run into people from Chile, Quebec, and Kansas—all in one place!
Day 2 began with a great conversation between Teachstone’s COO Mike Benzian and Dr. Bob Pianta, co-founder of Teachstone. I found the session on how to complete CLASS observations when infants and toddlers are in the same classroom and Arizona’s presentation about CLASS in the context of special needs children extremely informative. The icing on the cake of Tuesday’s sessions was the presentation on the triangular effect of using CLASS, Teaching Strategies GOLD, and Creative Curriculum.
The Summit ended with a reflective dialogue facilitated by Dr. Debra Pacchiano of the Ounce of Prevention and two coaches from her organization about the role of instructional leadership and trusting relationships in program improvement and delivering on the promise of CLASS.
We learned a ton, had many great conversations, and interacted with a great community of CLASS professionals. Our key takeaway? Teacher-child interactions matter!
Padma Rajan works as VP of programs, research, and evaluation for the Early Learning Coalition of Duval in Jacksonville, FL. She has spearheaded and facilitated the implementation of Guiding Stars of Duval, the Quality Rating and Improvement System in Duval County, for the past decade. Padma is a Teachstone ambassador, and has worked in the field of early childhood and elementary education for over 20 years. She is also a CPA, and she spent a decade crunching numbers prior to her work in education.
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As an educator, you’re busy. Your time is being split by competing priorities, from managing students’ needs, meeting your program’s goals, and communicating with parents. While you’re juggling your work, it can be difficult to keep learning about important ways to improve your daily teaching practice. Teachstone is here to help!
On Thursday, September 23, the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced it would not resume monitoring in January 2022 as it had previously stated. Dr. Bernadine Futrell, PhD, director of the Office of Head Start explained during a broadcast that, ”CLASS reviews will not be conducted during the fiscal year 2022 monitoring season...We are following the highest safety precautions possible as we enter in different programs to do the monitoring.”
Teachstone, pioneering developer of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) included in 23 states' Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and used by Head Start programs nationwide, today announced it partnered with Kaplan Early Learning Company to release toolkits to support the literacy skills of all children, including dual-language learners, in the classroom and at home. The CLASS® Literacy Support Kit and the Literacy At-Home Kit, designed for children in prekindergarten and kindergarten, are now available for purchase and shipping.
From coast to coast and around the globe, there’s a common thread that unites teachers: wanting to be better for their students.
Even when things are tough in education, educators are striving to be their best. Their dedication to equitable, ongoing development is what inspires Teachstone’s work. It will take a systematic, data-driven approach to reach the day when all children are afforded excellent education and care. And, we are enthusiastic partners in getting to that goal.