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.
I take my time with the Infant CLASS Observer Recertification test, slowly reading and comparing even the tiniest interactions. I balance them as one might gently cradle a sleeping newborn in the crook of their arm while reaching for a now-cold mug of coffee or tea. There is little room for error with this age level. The slow and calm demeanor I employ when testing on the Infant CLASS measure is like the delicate and deliberate movements I see from highly skilled infant teachers—the “baby whisperers” of the world.
By August, with a new school year in sight and memories of my own childhood summers coming to an end, I am ready for my Pre-K and K-3 CLASS Observer Recertifications. As the summer slips away, I can only bear to sit at my desk for short periods. I take my time with testing, completing only one or two videos each day.
When I pass, there is less elation. It is all business. Between the beginning of June and the end of August, I test on five age levels. It is important to take our own training advice (the guidance you give your observation training participants) on certification and recertification.
Good luck on your next CLASS Observer Recertification Test, whenever it may be!
Practice and feedback is the key to CLASS® success. Even the most experienced certified CLASS Observers need practice and feedback to make sure their classroom observations remain fair and accurate. The best way to provide this is to use our Calibration product. Calibration protects your investment in reliable data collection.
Online Calibrations are 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.
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.
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.”