It’s such a delicate balance: you want to support children’s independence and show genuine regard for their perspectives, but you’re afraid that if you do, your class will get out of control. It’s happened to me—I’m following one child’s lead and suddenly the rest of the group is completely off track, or a child is leading a lesson and the rest of the class ignores him! So how do teachers give children genuine leadership opportunities, and still complete activities and maintain an organized classroom? The CLASS tool summarizes ways to do both—and our Video Library shows real teachers with strong Classroom Organization skills being flexible and student-focused, and supporting children’s leadership and independence.
Try it out—and post about how it goes!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October, 2014, but has since been updated to incorporate more accurate data and to keep content fresh and engaging.
How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I posed that question to a random selection of contacts via text message. What did I discover? Everyone in my sample group spreads on the PB first, then the J. There are a variety of ways though to apply the jelly, but in my random group, the jelly always comes second.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches make me think about Behavior Guidance, a dimension in the CLASS® toddler observation tool. Especially the first two indicators of behavior guidance: proactive and supporting positive behavior. Proactive is the peanut butter! It goes first. That layer of peanut butter is the base for the jelly, which promotes positive behavior.
I was a kindergarten teacher for eight years at a public school. I loved my job, but somewhere along the road I started to become crotchety. I was often annoyed with my colleagues and frustrated with the demands of the district, and I was sure I knew better than any training or professional development session I would ever be forced to attend.
Shared physical presence is a large part of how we’re used to connecting with each other. Strong connections and relationships are important for children who may have recently experienced loss, high stress, or trauma. As teachers connect with children in a virtual setting, it can be more challenging to think about how to create a safe space for learning, sharing experiences, and taking risks.
When COVID-19 hit and schools shut down, many of us were certain that it would not impact the 2020-21 school year. But after more than 18 months, it’s clear that the pandemic is still with us. The length of the pandemic has only heightened concern about COVID related learning loss - especially among underserved populations.