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You Don't "Do" CLASS—You Are CLASS!

15 Jun 2015 by Sara Diamond

I had the pleasure of presenting a session on the CLASS at a recent conference. Before beginning, I was doing my usual checks to be sure that everything was ready, that participants were getting signed in, and that no one was roaming the hallway trying to locate the session. As I stood near the doorway, two teachers approached and inquired about the session saying, “Will you be explaining how we do CLASS?”

As we chatted, I learned that they had been told by their director that they needed to “do CLASS this year,” and they wanted to know specifically how to do it. It was not the first time I have heard the question or heard people talking about how they “do CLASS” in their school or organization. But for some reason, on that particular day, this really got me thinking: Is CLASS just something that we do?

As I was reflecting on this, I was reminded of working in a childcare center that was seeking to achieve accreditation. When we worried about everything that had to be done, the center director reassured us by saying, “Quality is not something that we are doing. It’s who we are. If we are a quality program, then we are quality day in and day out, and there is nothing that we need to say or do any differently when someone is visiting in our program.” What if we applied that notion to CLASS?

Imagine if we could somehow shift how we talk with others about the CLASS tool. That rather than conveying it’s something to be done, we convey that it’s a mindset. Instead of issuing directives to “use CLASS”, we recognize that we are investing in resources that will help our teachers to “become CLASS.” What if we could help every adult who works in classrooms to adopt the notion that CLASS is not something additional to add to their “to-do list” each day, but CLASS behaviors are how they interact with children each day? Nothing needs to be said or done differently when someone is visiting our classrooms, because we don’t just do CLASS, we ARE CLASS! 

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