Power to the Profession!
Powerful words from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), right? NAEYC describes their initiative as: "a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge, and competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation."
At Teachstone, we spend a lot of time thinking about what these words mean to us as an organization, and specifically to our mission of making sure every child has access to life-changing teachers. By supporting and empowering teachers, we work towards our goal of supporting and empowering children.
So we’re curious - what do you think about when you hear “Power to the Profession?” What should happen to make sure teachers are confident… valued…. skilled… rewarded? What matters most in the process of empowering life-changing teachers?
One thing we know for sure matters is effective professional development for teachers. To understand the key ingredients of powerful PD, we turn to experts in the field, like Linda Darling-Hammond and colleagues at Standford and the Learning Policy Institute, who describe how effective PD includes:
These principles drive the development of all of our tools and methodologies at Teachstone. To support life-changing teachers, we do our best to make sure our materials are reliable, engaging, trustworthy, and grounded in best practices.
That’s step 1.
The next step is the incredibly difficult process of adapting tools and methods to unique contexts and stages of teacher development. We all know you can’t just plop a coaching model onto an existing system without a lot of careful thought about how to leverage and protect internal resources to make the model work. Planning matters. Context matters. And teacher stage of development matters - what works with teachers who have been in the field for years, won’t work as well for teachers who are brand new to the classroom.
One partner we follow closely in this space is Deans for Impact, which is a group that is committed to bringing power to the newest professionals. Lead teacher preparation programs across the country collaborate to share and grow research-based tools and resources to ensure more teachers are consistently ready for the classroom on day 1.
To achieve their mission that “every child deserves a well-prepared teacher,” Deans for Impact:
This year’s InterAct theme in Nashville next week gets right at the heart of these core issues:
How do we together build, nurture, and sustain a talented workforce that has the power to make a difference in children’s lives?
A few of the related sessions we’re looking forward to exchanging ideas with you include:
You’ll also get a chance to learn more about our new release, CDA Renewal with CLASS which is now open for enrollment! This is the only CDA program that is based on a CLASS lens, and focused on skills and strategies that boost interactions, the most critical component of teaching quality.
Can’t join us at Interact this year? We’ll miss you but know that this theme is going to carry through our work in many different ways via webinars, blogs, and other professional resources. The best way to contribute to this important - and ongoing - conversation is by joining the CLASS Learning Community. There you can connect, ask questions, access resources, attend events, and highlight your credentials. You’ll also find links to recordings of various sessions and keynotes held in Nashville. We look forward to interacting with you online!
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When I was a teacher, I can remember taking care to intentionally plan differentiated, or individualized, instruction. And, when I was teaching pre-K I added the same level of intentionality to which materials were available in interest areas, and how I approached transitions throughout the day.
While any level of intentionally, specifically in relation to planning, is important -- I missed a critical opportunity in being more intentional in my interactions with the children in my class.
From coast to coast and around the globe, there’s a common thread that unites teachers: wanting to be better for their students.
Even when things are tough in education, educators are striving to be their best. Their dedication to equitable, ongoing development is what inspires Teachstone’s work. It will take a systematic, data-driven approach to reach the day when all children are afforded excellent education and care. And, we are enthusiastic partners in getting to that goal.
Hey there, Teachstone community! My name is Stephanie Lewandowski, and I am the Senior Product Manager for myTeachstone. Before joining Teachstone, I built digital products for education companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. I’m passionate about delivering impactful products, particularly the tools that make the everyday work of teaching and learning a little bit easier. As a parent, and as a product manager, I know how invaluable early childhood education is, and I’m inspired by the teachers in both my personal and professional life.
By the end of every summer, the education world erupts with talk about back-to-school. This year was no different. The air was full of optimism. Vaccines had rolled out, many of us took our first vacation in a year and a half, and my inbox was full of the “best back to school” sales. Sadly, as quickly as many schools welcomed children back into the classroom with open arms, they were forced to close again due to increases in COVID-19 infections.
Admins, teachers, students, and families alike may be feeling concerned, cautiously optimistic, pessimistic, or confused. If you’re like me, you might feel all of the above all at once. But, I am taking comfort in knowing that this year, we are armed with more data.