In our earliest implementations, when Teachstone was just being formed, we often heard that teachers were caught off guard by CLASS-based professional development. Trainers were hearing questions like “What am I doing here?” “Why was I asked to attend?” and “How does this relate to my other professional growth activities?” We quickly learned that teachers and professional development providers need to be on the same page about goals. Sometimes goals for teacher-child interactions are set at the program level; sometimes they are set for individual teachers. Either way, everyone needs to be clear on what they are reaching for.
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.
In an environment where data is becoming more prevalent and influential in the decision-making process of programming, funding, professional development and career decisions, it is important to maintain a balance between valuation and conversation.
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.
Back in March, I was given an extraordinary opportunity to connect with Teachstone via its Ambassador initiative. What’s particularly exciting is the notion of engaging with an organization and others that share my passion and dedication to improving the professionalism of early care and education teachers. The results of the dialogue among the Teachstone team, other Ambassadors and I will be far-reaching, touching our respective audiences across the profession in a meaningful and positive way.
One child arrives late, another needs to clean up after a painting, and some children are having a dispute in the block area—all while a teacher is trying to get a small group engaged in a letter-learning activity.
Teachers that watch videos of effective classroom interactions are more likely to improve their own interactions. Knowing this, Teachstone created and continues to cultivate a robust CLASS Video Library, featuring real teachers effectively interacting with children. In order to help coaches and mentors make the most of their Video Library usage with teachers, Teachstone also created the Video Library Companion, a roadmap for planning and facilitating effective conversations around the videos.