Nearly two years ago I joined Teachstone with a deep desire and commitment to support leaders and teachers with real-time, practical, and evidence-based strategies and solutions to address the current needs of children, families, and educators. For the 20 years prior, I led organizations working at the national, state, and local levels focused on addressing the needs of children and families, especially those living in marginalized communities. As a practitioner at heart, my passion has been translating research to practice to drive impact and positive outcomes for children. This passion brought me to Teachstone.
Having used the CLASS® in my programs, I saw firsthand the incredible impact the tool had on children and educators. I often refer to the CLASS as an equalizer, as the CLASS tool provided our site leaders with the ability to measure and improve the quality of teacher-child interactions with a proven and research-based classroom assessment - one that is effective regardless of the credentials, education level, or socio-economic status of the educator. Not only do I believe in CLASS, but I also believe in educators and their fundamental ability to bring the best out of our children.
"Not only do I believe in CLASS, but I also believe in educators and their fundamental ability to bring the best out of our children."
We are depending on our educators now more than ever before as we all continue to grapple with the tremendous impacts of COVID-19 on the early childhood education system. As colleagues across the country are facing unprecedented challenges, we recognize that at the core are critical needs for children, educators, and families. The call has been for the educational system to restabilize, reopen, and recover. But, what if we see these challenges we are facing as an opportunity? The opportunity to make the future of education now.
Now is the time to not only restabilize and recover, but to improve, innovate, and make the needed changes to create and sustain quality education within all programs, across all classrooms, and for all children. I am humbled by the incredible efforts already taken by leaders and teachers to work toward change. There is more work to be done together.
The need for systemic change has long been established, with each year bringing forward more research findings on inequities in early childhood education. And yet, these problems still fester.
The recent challenges brought on by the pandemic brought to light an even greater need and opportunity to come together to build back better. As a community, we know too much to let these problems continue. With the historic funding amounts being put into the education landscape, it’s time to look beyond reopening and allocate these resources to reimagining education, and to rebuilding a future of quality for every child and every educator.
Together, we have the opportunity to think and plan more strategically through a systemic lens to make the equitable future of education a reality, now.
With this context, we’re making a commitment to support not only reopening, but restabilization, and innovation to drive continuous - and needed - improvements.
Let us be your partner and support you in your goals, needs, and wishes with our expertise and services that have been proven to drive success. And, be sure to join us for our upcoming webinar, The Future is Now: Using Stimulus Funding to Drive Equity and Quality.
The Future is Now: Using Stimulus Funding to
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When I was a teacher, I can remember taking care to intentionally plan differentiated, or individualized, instruction. And, when I was teaching pre-K I added the same level of intentionality to which materials were available in interest areas, and how I approached transitions throughout the day.
While any level of intentionally, specifically in relation to planning, is important -- I missed a critical opportunity in being more intentional in my interactions with the children in my class.
There is always an opportunity for interaction. Some opportunities are easily recognizable: times of play, free choice, centers, small group. We often see teachers engaged in activities alongside children during these times or hear questions being asked. Other opportunities might be a little less obvious. These are the times of your day that you might see as mundane moments that merely require your supervision or monitoring. The times where you’re going through the motions. “I’m doing this thing so I can move on to the next thing.”
In a previous blog, colleague and early childhood environment extraordinaire, Heather Sason, discussed how your classroom environment can help promote effective teacher-child interactions. In this blog, I propose we explore some of the often overlooked times in your day that are ripe for interactions with children and that do promote exploration, learning, and development!
It's not uncommon for teachers in early education to need to strike a balance between following children's leads and sticking to the classroom schedule. We know that intentional teachers are aware of their responsibility to assess student progress, understand skill mastery, and plan accordingly to provide opportunities for children to grow. However, many times, as teachers begin a specific teacher-directed activity, it is unsettling when students begin to veer from the step-by-step plans the teacher has worked hard to implement.
Teacher and coach, Colleen Schmit, will share how teachers can strike the balance between following the lesson plans and giving children freedom of choice and flexibility in the classroom.
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!