Attendees from the Early Childhood Institute are eligible to apply for a 3-session mentoring cycle consisting of focused, guided observations at the CDC. In order to be eligible, participants must be able to attend CDC observations during weekday, working hours. Participants can receive up to 5 free approved professional development hours for participation in observations and consultation with CDC staff. Participants will observe best practice strategies focused on, but not limited to, the evidence-based practices discussed during Institute workshops ECERS activities, interactions, language-reasoning, or CLASS domains such as emotional support, classroom organization, instructional support. Participants will also be mentored in best practices aligned with observational measures of classroom quality to promote improved CLASS and ECERS scores. The goal of the mentoring relationship is to support the participant’s competence and confidence to develop their own Action Plan and integrate the newly acquired skills from the workshops and observations from the CDCs into their classroom.
Consultation with CDC Staff/Action Plan Development
After the CDC Observations, participants can meet with CDC staff, HDF faculty and/or an assigned contracted coach at the URI campus. Together with a URI coach, the participant will have an opportunity to discuss and identify ways to apply observed skills in their individual programs. The participant and coach will develop a targeted action plan as part of QIP or IPDP to support participants in changing practices and improving competencies in the participant’s working environment. Applying the learning and adapting the skills to the context where they will be used is a key focus of the coaching relationship. The coach and participant will identify potential barriers to implementation and will brainstorm problem solving solutions.
The created Action Plan will also integrate the participant’s annual goals based on quality improvement needs identified through practitioner Individualized Professional Development Plans (IPDPs) and program level Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs), including existing state monitoring, family evaluation surveys, CLASS and ECERS reports, and self-studies.
The URI Child Development Center (Kingston) is set up with an open observation deck which allows for 18 adults to observe the daily interactions of children and teachers. Observations at the Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center (Providence) are conducted by full immersion in the preschool classrooms.