Teachstone, 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 unveiled "Banking Time: Investing in Relationships," a new suite of tools to improve the quality of interactions between teachers and specific children birth through third grade, and in turn, to build strong, positive, equitable teacher-child relationships.
The new tools align to a dyadic, short-term intervention strategy known as "Banking Time," created by the same researchers who developed CLASS and founded Teachstone. Banking Time prioritizes brief yet intentional one-on-one interactions each week between individual teachers and children. During Banking Time sessions, both teacher and child interact toward an activity chosen by the child, such as painting a picture, reading a book, or exploring outside.
"Banking Time was developed and tested to empower teachers; to reduce the cycle of discipline and expulsion, which disproportionately affects Black and brown boys; and to enhance students' learning and development," said Teachstone CEO and Co-Founder Bridget Hamre. "We are excited to create products that advance the practice in a meaningful way for educators and children alike."
"Banking Time is a well-known strategy in the field, but until now, there have not been resources to support its effective implementation at large scale. It has been up to the teacher to learn, plan, and do," said Amanda Williford, Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Virginia, who has worked to test and refine Banking Time over the last five years. "The availability of these new tools is critical now more than ever, as we return to the classroom and navigate the educational and emotional impacts of the pandemic on our children and their learning experiences."
The tools include an online course in a bilingual format; a set of materials and resources, such as a teacher's manual, calendar, and video library; and a live training session for educators facilitated by a CLASS expert. The tools are designed to:
Make a large impact with small investments of time. With Banking Time, teachers plan a short, intentional opportunity to connect individually with a child on a consistent basis to foster a stronger connection. This small moment adds up over time to proven benefits such as social-emotional gains, decreased challenging behaviors, and reduced stress responses.
Build strong relationships between teachers and the children who need it most. Banking Time supports teachers in building positive relationships with the children they have difficulty connecting with, be it for racial or cultural differences, or other factors such as absenteeism. With stronger relationships, teachers can feel more empowered, programs can decrease the rapid cycle of discipline and expulsion, and children can have more opportunities for learning and feel greater success in the classroom.
Promote positive outcomes for teachers and children. With an intentional focus on building positive relationships with research-proven strategies, both teachers and children experience positive outcomes. Teachers experience immediate gratification from success which boosts empowerment, reduces stress, and helps them feel fulfilled in their daily work of supporting all children. Children demonstrate increased confidence and social-emotional skills, decrease in disruptive behavior, and lower stress response.
Encourage equity of interactions and opportunities for learning. There are always children in every classroom with whom teachers have difficulty connecting, be it caused by racial or cultural differences, absenteeism, or other biases. With Banking Time, teachers are provided with research-proven strategies that work to build and strengthen those relationships and help to ensure equity of interactions that drive to longer-term positive child development and learning.
Hey there, Teachstone community! My name is Stephanie Lewandowski, and I am the Senior Product Manager for myTeachstone. Before joining Teachstone, I built digital products for education companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. I’m passionate about delivering impactful products, particularly the tools that make the everyday work of teaching and learning a little bit easier. As a parent, and as a product manager, I know how invaluable early childhood education is, and I’m inspired by the teachers in both my personal and professional life.
We know positive relationships are important, but factors such as absenteeism, racial or cultural differences, and other biases can make it difficult for teachers to form those meaningful relationships with every child in their class. And, after a tumultuous 2020-2021 school year, teachers and students alike may need stronger relationships more than ever before.
Ask any educator why they do what they do, and they’ll most likely respond ‘for the children’ without missing a beat. It’s why I was a teacher and why a lot of my friends were teachers. It’s the impact we can have on the children in our care that motivates us, drives us, and is the foundation of our passion.
I can look back and for every single class I taught, I can rattle off the names of the children who I had a super strong relationship with, and those that were on the other extreme–a relationship that was weak, or fragmented.
Did you know that over 12 million children in the United States (and more every year!) speak a language other than English at home? While the education workforce does not exactly parallel its students’ demographics, we know that many educators are also multilingual. That’s why Teachstone has resources available in both English and Spanish. All children deserve the individualized support and care that best fosters learning - and so do their caregivers and educators.