Improving early childhood teachers’ understanding and use of instructional support for children from infancy to kindergarten.

Community of Practice Description:

The Elements Community of Practice (CoP) focuses on improving instructional support strategies in the early childhood classroom. 

From August 2021 and June 2022, members of the Elements CoP will learn together while exploring instructional support strategies for engaging in deeper conversations in the classroom while taking a Systems Thinking approach to teaching, learning, and relationship building.

Enrolled members will receive 2 hours of professional development each month along with personalized coaching opportunities.  The Arizona Infant/Toddler Developmental Guidelines, Arizona Early Learning Standards, 7 Essential Life Skills from Mind in the Making, and Systems Thinking will all be uniquely woven into professional development sessions as they relate to interactions in the classroom.

Members will deepen their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice by focusing on concept development, quality of feedback, and language modeling with young children.

Member Benefits include:

  • 20 hours of professional development via zoom. *quarterly in person sessions will happen, depending on health guidelines.
  • A minimum of 4 coaching sessions, with monthly coaching available each month.
  • Online group support and resources.
  • Opportunities to collaborate and learn from other early childhood teachers and directors in the community.
  • Opportunities to learn from Local and National experts throughout the year in partnership with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Az (for additional PD hours).
  • Optional monthly networking opportunities to connect with fellow members and further discuss session topics via zoom office hours.

Learning Goals:

By the end of the year, members will:

  • Gain awareness of the Instructional Support domain of the CLASS assessment tool.
  • Feel confident using instructional support strategies to facilitate deepened conversations in the classroom.
  • Understand how nurturing the development of the 7 Essential Life Skills from Mind in the Making and the Habits of a Systems Thinker can lead to improved outcomes for children.
  • Identify ways to structure the classroom environment to inspire curiosity and critical thinking.

Resource Materials:  Each member will receive a set of the Habits of a Systems Thinker cards, a copy of The Play’s the Thing: Teachers’ Roles in Children’s Play. Members are encouraged to join the ELEMENTS closed Facebook Group to connect throughout the year and share various resources.

Eligibility Requirements: Registration preference will be given to members who live or work in the Pima North Regional Partnership Council region and work with young children ages birth through 5.

CoP Sessions

Cohort meets the second Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm

Interested in joining the Elements Community of Practice? Contact Connie Espinoza at connie.espinoza@outlook.com or 520-401-5396