Tara Beard, Director of the Childcare Resources School, recently earned certification as a Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Observer for Infant, Toddler, and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. CLASS gauges teaching quality by observing teacher-student interactions across three domains including emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support.
A CLASS observation looks for a teacher that helps students understand expectations, effectively redirect misbehavior, acknowledges accomplishments and efforts, and promotes higher-level thinking skills, among other interactions. The CLASS observation process enables teachers to measure and improve the interactions that impact student outcomes the most.
“Having a School Director that is TeachStone CLASS certified in all three domains is another way to assess that we are providing the best possible student-teacher interactions and best possible outcomes for our children,” said Shannon McGuire Bowman, Childcare Resources Executive Director.
To earn certification, a CLASS Observer participates in extensive training and passes a certification test, demonstrating a good understanding of the observation tool and how to assess classrooms.
“Learning how to score classrooms objectively is incredibly useful,” said Beard. “The focus on continuous quality improvement allows every teacher to build on their strengths.”
Higher CLASS scores have been linked to better student outcomes in both math and reading. Florida’s Office of Early Learning requires all early education providers that participate in the statewide School Readiness or Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs to receive an annual CLASS assessment from a certified observer.