I’ve just begun my journey into the world of coaching. I am eager and excited about this opportunity to help pave the way for more effective teaching. I’ve recently been given my list of classrooms that I will be working with and I’m anxious to get started. I get ready to meet my first teacher, Ms. Linda, and I just know that she will be excited to meet me and we will form an instant bond and work together for the benefit of the children in that classroom. I will not get many opportunities to have face to face visits with Ms. Linda, so I know this first one is crucial. I walk through the door, introduce myself, and am immediately brushed off. Ms. Linda does not have time to talk to me right now, she shares that several children need her assistance, she’s got to get the morning snack ready, and her assistant is out for the day so she is flying solo. Ms. Linda does not seem as excited about this meeting as I would have hoped. She quickly shares that I’m the third coach that has been in to work with her, and although she knows that I have to do my job, she’s fine and really doesn’t see how I can help her. A CLASS Observer was in her room last week, and she just doesn’t understand what the big deal is. She’s been teaching for over 10 years and she’s tried it all. So anything I have to share with her is stuff she’s already heard.
So far, we have looked at how the look-for text and the CLASS language charts can support teacher learning. For part 3 of this series, let’s examine how the reflective questions in myTeachstone can encourage teacher engagement and reflection.
Last time we looked at how coaches can use the look-for text to focus teacher attention on specific learning objectives. In this post, we’ll consider ways to use the charts in promoting teacher learning.
Teachers, like all of us, have a limited bank of time and attention. So, it should come as no surprise if they sometimes lose focus on what matters most for kids: interactions.
Teachers don’t lose focus because they don’t want to have positive interactions with children. I’ve yet to meet a teacher who didn’t want to be a positive force in kids’ lives.
But think about the teachers you know. How do they spend their time? How many different things are they asked to attend to in the classroom? Limited time and an excess of competing demands are real barriers for the teachers you support.
We all know that coaches and teachers have many time constraints when working to provide high quality care for young children. We designed myTeachstone to help address time issues by providing numerous and varied resources on effective interactions that allow for meaningful professional development with less face-to-face time.
Southern Utah University Head Start (SUU HS) is located in Cedar City, Utah and supports 21 classrooms across a large geographic area. It is funded through Head Start and managed through Southern Utah University.
Are you a Coach that's new to myTeachstone? Maybe you've been coaching with myTeachstone but want to learn more. Check out our
new myTeachstone Webinar for a refresher. Hosted by Teachstone Product Manager, Emily Doyle, the webinar covers myTeachstone's roots in CLASS, Coaching Principles, Resources & Creative Solutions for Coaches, and more.
To talk about CLASS, you have to start with kids. Beginning anywhere else just doesn’t capture what’s at the heart of CLASS: interactions that help children grow and improve their outcomes.
That’s why Teachstone’s newest teacher PD series in myTeachstone is organized around teacher’s real experiences with children. Created with the learning experts at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that brought you Sesame Street, the courses open by asking teachers to think about a specific interaction with a child:
Coaches come from a wide variety of backgrounds, jobs, and educational experiences. You may have “coach” in your job title, use a specific coaching model, and have received formal coach-training; on the other hand, “coaching” may be a less official part of your role but you may often find yourself supporting teachers and colleagues.
Wherever you fall on the continuum of experiences, if you support teachers, then you could probably use a little support yourself as you strive to be the best mentor you can be.