Training Helps Teacher Improve Classroom Learning
Four-year-old Tony was the focus of his teacher’s, Miss Jody’s, attention when she enrolled in TFC's CLASS Institute. Tony rarely wanted to participate in group activities and frequently disrupted the class during circle time. Jody was dedicating a lot of time to addressing his outbursts and trying to engage him in learning, meaning the rest of the students weren’t necessarily getting the attention they needed.
Before taking part in the series, Jody participated in a pre-assessment, using the Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS) — a tool for assessing classroom quality. The assessment identified Jody’s strengths and areas for improvement as a teacher. One of her lowest scores was on her quality feedback — the degree to which a teacher provides feedback that expands learning and understanding, and encourages continued participation.
After completing six, 2-hour sessions where Jody learned to identify, understand and apply strong interactions in her classrooms, TFC’s certified instructor, Shari Williams, visited her classroom for the first of two coaching sessions. Williams watched Jody in her classroom and discussed her observations with her. They talked about Tony and Jody’s successes using fidget toys to keep him engaged.
After Jody completed the 20 hours of training, Williams returned for the final coaching session. Tony’s fidget toys were no longer necessary, as Jody had succeeded in engaging him in her classroom. She had implemented many ideas from the training sessions and focused on improving the low-scoring skills identified in her pre-assessment. Williams noticed one change that seemed to make a big difference: now, during circle time, Tony was encouraged to contribute to the group discussion, but allowed the option to work on an individual project if he chose. Williams also noticed Jody's follow up questions sparked more interest around a topic, a tactic which led to continued discussion, even by Tony.
During a circle time discussion, all of the children gathered in a tight circle as Jody explained and asked questions about butterflies and metamorphosis. Children were asked to explain their thoughts on how caterpillars becomes a butterflies. This generated a lively conversation with many children, including Tony, participating.
In a short time, Jody had learned to use strategies to capture the interest of the students and improve learning in her classroom. In her post training assessment, Jody saw significant increases in all of the measurement areas. Her most impressive improvement was on her quality of feedback score.