Dear Mary-Margaret and Sarah,
I wanted to get your feedback on a situation that I've been noticing more and more. I'm an observer going to many different classrooms where they are seriously dedicated to improving interactions. That's great! But I've noticed that some programs are focusing so much on interactions that they've essentially started to neglect their room set up, and it seems to be causing some problems. What is a program to do? What are your thoughts?
That's a great question—such an important question that we recorded a conversation on this topic to post on our blog.
You'll hear me mention a slide from CLASS observation trainings breaking down the elements that affect learning in a classroom. Here's that lovely graphic:
Do you have any other questions about conducing CLASS observations, improving scores, or conducting CLASS-based professional development? Send them our way. You can find our contact information on the Teachstone team page. Click on me, Mary-Margaret Gardiner, or Sarah Hadden and send us your tricky CLASS questions!
Across the nation, teachers learning about CLASS are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many teachers may wonder, “Will people think I’m crazy if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for teachers to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.
I recently heard a great analogy about the CLASS tool and I had to share it. I can’t take credit for the idea. Affiliate Trainer, Teresa Bockes, originated the concept, and I loved it the minute I heard it: CLASS is like a house. Let’s build a house step-by-step to learn more about this metaphor.
Do you ever find it difficult to explain to others what you do as a profession and what CLASS is?
When I was a classroom teacher and people asked me about my job, I could say, “I am a teacher,” and everyone knew exactly what I did. But, when I joined Teachstone and began delivering trainings on the CLASS tool, things seemed to change. I couldn’t answer that question with such a simple answer. Here is a recent conversation I had at an airport where I was asked about what I did for a living.