When I first learned about CLASS Group Coaching—a training for early childhood professionals about building relationships with children—I was more than a little interested. This, I thought. This is what teaching is all about. It seems to be an obvious concept, but once we dig deeper, we are able to identify the whys and hows of our interactions. CLASS Group Coaching allows us to identify the benefits of our classroom relationships with our students and helps us be intentional in our daily practices. It allows us to utilize each moment we have with our students to deepen our understanding of their perspectives and genuinely connect with them as people. It helps us see the world from their view and guide their learning in a way that is relevant to them.
As a CLASS Group Coaching (MMCI) instructor, the sections of any given two-hour session may feel, at times, very goal driven. These sections titled "Know," "See," and "Do” are interconnected. In particular, it is possible to consider "Do" within "Know," and "See." When an instructor supports in-the-moment experiences that connect new knowledge to current practice, they make the CLASS dimensions more relevant to the educators' daily work. But how can we infuse more “Do” into “Know” and “See?” First, let's re-cap what happens in each section.
Of course every CLASS Observation Training covers the same material, but every trainer puts their unique spin on it. Find out what your strength is as a CLASS trainer. Take our fun quiz to find out what yours is!
I have a confession to make. Recently, I used vacation time to stay home and watch Season 6 of The Walking Dead. I know, I know. How could I have let myself miss a whole season? Oh, and I feel a little bad about taking the time off from work too, but this was very nearly an emergency! I mean it was only weeks before Season 7 of the season premiere. I had to do something. Don’t judge.
While I was watching, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I felt like I had actually walked through a herd of zombies, but couldn’t quite place why it felt so familiar. Then it hit me—I had unknowingly created zombie-like participants during at least two of my previous CLASS trainings.
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).
We have all been there. Admittedly, CLASS Observation training is intense. I never feel too apologetic about that, though I DO have a lot of empathy for how it feels to experience this information-packed two-day training.
When I first joined the Teachstone team as a staff trainer, I conducted long, rather quiet day two experiences. As you know, day two of the CLASS Observation Training is full of videos to observe and code. We watch a video together, take notes, and then spend a good half-hour to 45 minutes coding. It has the potential to feel brutally quiet, and fatiguing.
So, how can we, trainers, facilitate a day two that feels a little more collaborative, and a lot less grueling? There are four videos in day two. Four videos mean we code two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
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.