Last week, I joined several Teachstone colleagues and thousands of early childhood educators for the 2013 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference in Washington, DC. As Rebecca Berlin described, Teachstone delivered four presentations; we also enjoyed meeting many fellow early education colleagues throughout the week in the exhibition hall and other events.
I personally had the pleasure of attending several presentations, including Providing Classroom-Level CLASS™ Observation Feedback to Teachers, delivered by Teachstone's Senior Specialist of Coursework Hilary Ritt and Training Manager Sara Diamond. This presentation was so well attended that when the seats filled up, participants sat on the floor and against the walls! I was struck by the passion of the participants as they demonstrated deep understanding of the importance of interactions and genuine respect for the teachers with whom they work.
Of course, I attended several non-Teachstone presentations as well. One particularly interesting presentation included, "How a Head Start Coaching Community of Practice Created a PD System using CLASS and the Project Approach" (delivered by Carol Bolz, Sue Vartuli, and Catherine Wilson). This presentation described a research project that explored how coaching improves quality of instruction and learning in Head Start classrooms over five years. The presentation included classroom stories told by a pre-K teacher that participated in the project. This teacher, “Mr. George,” described the ways his implementation of The Project Approach complimented his CLASS interactions (particularly Concept Development and Quality of Feedback), and the ways his teaching focus shifted to seeing children as thinkers and risk-takers. With 40 years of Head Start teaching experience, he was truly an inspiration!
I could go on and on about the fabulous presentations I attended and the inspiring people I met at NAEYC, but I would rather hear from you! Did you attend NAEYC? Use the comments to describe your experiences and favorite presentations!
In the wake of the widespread civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the national conversation about the inequities in the educational opportunities provided white students and students of color has been amplified. Due to racial and socioeconomic segregation, Black students, and other students of color, are more likely to attend poorly funded schools. EdBuild, a non-profit focused on fair and equitable school funding, reports that high poverty school districts that predominantly enroll children of color receive on average, $1,600 less per student than the national average. By their calculations, there is a $23,000,000,000 gap between funding for schools that primarily serve high poverty Black students and those that predominantly serve white students. Schools that predominantly serve high poverty white students, only receive $1440 less per student (EdBuild, 2019).
I recognize and admit to having a chip on my shoulder about the field of early childhood education - and, at times, disbelief that others may not see that period of time as the power-packed years in our developmental timeline which can lay the groundwork and set the course for much of the rest of our lives.
Since the coronavirus has disrupted many of our in-person plans, you might be trying to figure out how you can transition in-person coaching to online coaching. Online coaching can open a number of doors for coaches and teachers that might not be an option in face-to-face work.