I just had the opportunity to spend two days with Head Start leaders at the National Head Start Association’s Leadership Institute in our nation’s capitol. I grew up in the DC Metropolitan area, so this was like a "coming home" for me. As a former Head Start director, this was also like a professional homecoming, as I mingled with former colleagues, Head Start directors, and executive directors.
I have to admit, I cringe a little each time I walk into an infant classroom and see a monthly curriculum posted to the bulletin board. Usually it’s filled with age-appropriate activities that any baby would love. But there’s always that moment when I wonder, does this center feel the pressure to focus on pre-academic skills, even for their littlest clients?
My last blog post kicked off a series of posts about how to use the CLASS™ measure in family child care (FCC) settings. Ginny Vitiello, Research and Evaluation Director at Teachstone, recently published a white paper on this very subject. From research, discussion with, and observations of FCC providers, we’ve identified four basic challenges to observers who are more familiar with center-based care.
I’ve been using the slow weeks around the holidays to catch up on the latest CLASS™ research findings. There’s a lot that I’d like to get to in another post (like this! And this!). However, I came across a study by a research group I read up on from time to time. Their work is so fascinating that I just had to share.
As I read our latest white paper on family child care and the CLASS system, I found myself humming Sister Sledge’s hit song, "We are Family." Even though family child care (FCC) settings may differ from other child-care arrangements (and from one another), we truly are a family when it comes to the business of providing care and supporting children and families through early childhood. And the bond that ties our family together? Interactions!
We are thrilled to have Marla Muntner guest blog for us today. Marla has spent most of her professional life supporting teaching and learning—inside and outside of the classroom. She’s worked for newspapers, nonprofits, public schools, and education companies. As the former Marketing and Communications Manager for Teachstone, she thrived on creative work through designing instructional programs, managing complex projects, leading creative teams, and designing engaging communications materials.
As a first-year preschool teacher, I would wake up early one Saturday every month to attend a teaching workshop at a local college. Some of these workshops provided me with new activities and materials to use in my classroom. Others, however, left me wondering why I woke up so early and how I might incorporate the information into my classroom in meaningful ways. And I still found myself wanting help in the place I needed it most: my daily interactions with the children.
I’m very excited to go to the Zero to Three National Training Institute next week in Texas. I’ve never been before, and I hear that it’s an energizing and inspiring conference. I’m especially excited for Nathan Fox’s plenary session on the developing brain. Dr. Fox is an amazing researcher who studies temperament and individual differences in infancy.