The Randolph College Nursery School recently became the fourth program in Virginia to earn a top rating (5 stars) from the Virginia Star Quality Initiative, which is a pretty big accomplishment in itself. But in addition to being named a 5-star program, the nursery school also received a perfect score in the teacher-child interactions area of the evaluation—CLASS. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Holly Layne, the director of the program, to learn more about her, her awesome teachers, and how they did what they did.
Good news! All change has to start somewhere, and you can take positive steps no matter where you’re starting from. Take this (non-scientific) quiz to get thinking about where you are now and what your next steps might be toward improving teacher-child interactions at your organization.
When we were in Chicago in July, 2015, we caught up with Vanessa Rich, the President of the National Head Start Association and the Deputy Commissioner, Family & Support Services for the City of Chicago. I had the opportunity to ask her about how she leverages data to make decisions about professional development for teachers. Vanessa believes that in Chicago, and across Head Start, reflection is the most important link between data and improvement efforts.
Recently, I attended the NHSA conference in Washington DC, and if you’re like myself and many educators that attend conferences, you want to mingle and network with other educators. I’m always curious to ask these top three questions to fellow attendees when mingling:
In February, I (me, Hannah!) had the unique, wonderful opportunity to attend the national Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) conference. Interestingly, the first question that I was asked by a fellow participant was “Aren’t you entering the enemy camp?”
I had the pleasure of presenting a session on the CLASS at a recent conference. Before beginning, I was doing my usual checks to be sure that everything was ready, that participants were getting signed in, and that no one was roaming the hallway trying to locate the session. As I stood near the doorway, two teachers approached and inquired about the session saying, “Will you be explaining how we do CLASS?”
When I was little, my mother encouraged my siblings and I to help her work in our family garden. An avid gardener herself, I still remember the joy in learning simple lessons, such as the need to water our plants regularly—sometimes more than once on very hot days. I can’t tell you how excited we were when we saw our first pea plants sprout!
Leveraging technology to support professional development for teachers is a growing trend in education—one that's really just getting started. If you've been keeping up with our blog posts, e-books, and research papers, you've heard us talk a lot recently about how technology is empowering teacher growth by:
Editor's Note: In November 2013, Teachstone attended NAEYC's annual conference. One presentation stood out more than others—a research project investigating the use of CLASS and The Project Approach. A veteran Head Start teacher told true classroom stories about how his class changed while implementing CLASS Instructional Support within the Project Approach framework. Teachstone recently reconnected with the researchers leading the study to check in on its progress. This blog series, written by guest blogger Carol Bolz and her colleagues, tells the story of this project and recounts key classroom anecdotes that highlight the powerful pairing of the Project Approach implementation bolstered by effective CLASS interactions.
By Rachel Demma, Policy Director, Early Care and Education Consortium
Teachstone is thrilled to be a member of the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC). As an ECEC member, Teachstone joins with leading national, regional, and independent providers of high-quality child care and early learning programs and services to shape federal and state policy in support of improving care and education for children and families.