A client recently asked me, “How do I raise my Instructional Support scores?” You’ve certainly heard a lot about the importance of high CLASS scores. In Head Start, they are the measure of high quality classrooms and are tied to Recompetition. Your staff conducts CLASS observations and the scores are then shared with all. If your program is like most programs, your lowest scores are in the area of instructional support. So now, what can you do to improve those scores?
We’ve found that successful training in this area includes the following 3 points:
Use every moment as a teaching moment.
Training activities should focus on finding teaching opportunities throughout the entire day. Select a well-known story and discuss questions to ask children. Practice skills such as feedback loops as well as repetition and extension by talking through real scenarios in Head Start classrooms. Intentionality is key here.
Think back and look forward.
Provide teaching staff with CLASS observation notes of one of their classrooms. Be sure to guide the staff through a review of the feedback. Take a look back at what could have been done; and look forward to what can be done. These steps will help your staff to identify and take advantage of teaching moments.
This is a new language.
The dimensions within the instructional support domain are a new language for us all. Incorporating these skills into daily practice is a process and it takes time. Specialized training followed up by mentoring and coaching are the first steps.
Have a question about improving your CLASS scores? Give us a call.