With the recent launch of our new website, we’ve also launched a new CLASS research summary. This summary reviews the research on teacher-child interactions in classrooms serving children aged zero to eight. It also discusses effective professional development to improve interactions, as well as new directions for research into teacher-child interactions.
MTP coaches and teachers: Have you ever been frustrated by SD cards getting damaged in the mail? Or spent long days waiting for SD cards to arrive so you can start your next coaching cycle? Well, no need to deal with these challenges any longer. Because—drum roll, please!—the Teachstone Mobile App is almost here. It will revolutionize the way you digitally transfer classroom footage from teacher to coach.
Entering elementary school is a big step for children, a true rite of passage. I can still remember my very first day of school, how excited I was to join my big sister on the bus, how much I loved the little containers of milk and my teacher’s bouffant hairdo! I made a best friend that day—and was confounded by the “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” song kids sang on the bus. By the time I hit third grade, though, I knew what to expect. I was a real “big kid” (and old enough to know not to call myself one).
I’ve been working with my colleague, Sarah Hadden, to put together a new Implementation Guide (coming later this summer), along with some resources for groups writing early childhood grants. Below is an excerpt—slightly modified for blog-post purposes—from the Implementation Guide section on improving teacher-child interactions. Let me know what you think!
Several years ago, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services made a commitment to improve teacher-child interactions in preschools using the CLASS system. In consultation with Teachstone, they observed hundreds of classrooms across the city and provided teachers with in-person sessions introducing them to the CLASS tool. They also selected about 70 teachers to receive intensive professional development through MyTeachingPartner (MTP) Coaching, Teachstone’s one-on-one, CLASS-based coaching program.
First 5 California just released an evaluation report for their CARES Plus program. The results show that teachers who participated in MyTeachingPartner (MTP) Coaching significantly improved their Classroom Organization and--most important--their Instructional Support scores! To quote from the report:
There is an emerging consensus that dual language learners are best served by dual language classrooms. This ensures that their home language is accepted, preserved, and deepened, which has notable academic and social/emotional benefits for children. Dual language classrooms can range from settings in which the teachers work with children and do some translation in their home language, to two-way immersion classrooms that spend half the day in English and half in a second language.
Neuroscience research has repeatedly confirmed that exposure to toxic stress—inescapable, traumatic experiences, such as chronic abuse or neglect—disrupt the development of healthy stress response systems in the brain and can lead to serious long-term consequences for children. (See this excellent series from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child for more information.)
There’s nothing more frustrating for teachers and staff—coaches, directors, and administrators—than to work hard to improve interactions but not see much change in CLASS scores. It seems like that work was for nothing. Or is it just too early to pick up on changes?