The CLASS is multi-faceted and complex. It’s no surprise new and old CLASS participants carry around and pass on misconceptions about it. Here are four common misconceptions about CLASS and ways we can address them during and after trainings.
In our previous Behavioral Marker Series post, we focused on the often-misunderstood marker of “Disconnected Negativity.” As a reminder, CLASS behavioral markers are the bulleted lists of concrete examples located under indicators. You will find the indicators listed under each dimension’s face page.
Let’s dive right into our next challenging behavioral marker, “Evaluation.” Evaluation is found under the indicator of “Analysis and Reasoning,” in the dimension of Concept Development.
In our previous “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Regard for Student Perspectives. As we continue our journey through the CLASS manual, today we will move into our next domain, Classroom Organization. Let’s dive right into the dimension of Behavior Management. And speaking of diving, summer is here and temperatures are at an all time high, so I’m sure we are headed to our local community pool to cool off!
In the last "Real World Examples" post, we focused on Teacher Sensitivity. Moving on through the CLASS manual, today we will explore Regard for Student Perspectives, the last dimension in the Emotional Support domain. The English Oxford Dictionary defines the word regard as “pay attention to;” for CLASS, this translates to: “pay attention to student perspectives.” When teachers purposefully plan activities and lessons that incorporate students' ideas and interests and allow them opportunities to talk, the children feel like they have a place and ownership in the classroom. The same rings true in day-to-day life—when we welcome others’ perspectives, there are more opportunities for intentional learning.
If you're like me, you've started to notice that CLASS domains and dimensions are applicable to life even outside the classroom. You start wondering why your siblings aren't giving more regard to your perspective, and you start asking your significant other more open-ended questions.
In the last “Real World Examples” post, we focused on Positive Climate. Moving on through the CLASS manual, today we will explore the dimension of Teacher Sensitivity. When thinking about Teacher Sensitivity, it helps to understand how it plays out in our everyday lives. Throughout any given day, many opportunities present themselves (sometimes the smallest moments) to provide thoughtful and sensitive responses. Supporting those we train to make a connection between everyday experiences and classroom experiences helps make learning the CLASS tool more meaningful and relatable!
Concept Development and Quality of Feedback—these two CLASS dimensions used to elicit a sense of fear in me, and I suspect they do for other early childhood educators, too. The fear came from hearing the average teacher’s scores in these dimensions, confusing the two dimensions, and from knowing how important they are to impacting children’s cognitive development.
We CLASS Specialists are always thinking about the complexity of the CLASS tool as we prepare for our trainings. As a trained CLASS observer myself, I am comfortable observing and recognizing quality interactions that fit in the tool. But I needed a strategy to convey this information to a group of teachers that may not be as familiar with the tool. As it turns out, using an analogy is a perfect way to make the complex relatable, less overwhelming, and more familiar to our participants.
What does quality teaching look like in an early childhood classroom? Twenty-five years ago, it was providing a safe place for children to play, with stimulating materials and books to read. Today, we have provided those basics in most early childhood classrooms, and our focus has shifted to the hows of quality—how teachers interact with children, how they use time and materials to get the most out of every moment, and how they ensure that children are engaged and stimulated.