As the Community Manager with Teachstone, I have been able to talk to many observers, trainers, coaches, and general CLASS lovers. I have found a common thread among these groups: a desire to connect with other CLASS users and put their CLASS knowledge to use.
We often hear from CLASS Observers that are interested in observing more classrooms. Meanwhile, many organizations—particularly smaller organizations or those doing research studies—don’t have Certified CLASS Observers and are in search of observers in their area.
If you're a CLASS observer, you've probably found yourself in a situation where you have to make inferences or rely on contextual evidence when assigning scores. However, it should always be your goal to minimize subjectivity and assumptions. You have to prevent your emotions, opinions, and ideas that are not a part of the CLASS tool from influencing scoring. Achieving an emotionless state of objectivity while observing can be incredibly challenging. It takes practice to recognize when objectivity is threatened and respond accordingly.
Exciting news, you can now purchase Individual CLASS Calibrations directly from the Teachstone Store! They're available for Certified CLASS observers at all 6 CLASS levels. When you purchase an individual calibration, you’ll receive a video to watch and code on your myTeachstone dashboard. After submitting your codes, you’ll get an automated score report and a prerecorded webinar discussing the master codes.
Have you ever meditated? One of the most challenging aspects of this practice is clearing your mind from day-to-day thoughts that pop into your head. If you meditate, you know that trying to push those thoughts away doesn’t work—in order to free your mind you must first acknowledge those distracting thoughts before you can return to your “moment of zen.”
Reliability testing is stressful? Right? Right! Especially when you are an Affiliate Trainer, and you must pass the test to maintain trainer status! So you want to make sure that you’re doing the best you can. You study for the test, put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door, and lock yourself in your office with your manual, score sheets, and pencils in hand. (Steaming hot cup of coffee or tea is optional).
At some point in every training, someone invariably looks up and says, “So, if I want to be reliable, all I need to do is never score a 1 or a 7, right?”
Wrong! Every time I hear this, I want to scream. However, since it’s poor form for the trainer to scream, I maintain my composure and calmly explain that although I understand the intuitive appeal of what I call “The Numbers Game,” I cannot recommend it for the reasons presented below:
So, you're already a pro at conducting a CLASS Observation Training, but providing reliability support to trainees during the testing period can be challenging. Watch the video to learn about group reports, individual reports, and interpreting the score report on the CLASS Affiliate Trainer panel.
In our previous "Real World Examples" post, we focused on Productivity. Let's explore the Instructional Learning Formats dimension to wrap up the Classroom Organization domain.
Looking through the CLASS lens, teachers who are high in ILF have students who are interested, excited, and motivated to engage in activities. They facilitate in a way that encourage students’ excitement by being involved, commenting on children's work, and asking relevant questions. Modalities in the classroom are hands-on, and include different ranges, such as auditory and visual, to keep things interesting. The goal of the activities that children are engaged in is clear, as the teacher orients the students to the learning objectives.
I do a lot of recertification testing in the summer. First, comes Toddler CLASS Observer Recertification, crashing through my June just like a two-year-old. It reminds me that time is passing and summer will be over before I know it. It does that all while sloshing it’s sippy cup and demanding attention. I take this test in a hurry, not listening to my own trainer advice. After that whirlwind has blown through my Teachstone Dashboard, I take a breath and see my Infant CLASS certification quietly letting me know it needs some attention.