The Impact of MMCI Training
and the CLASS Tool at FSA
When Quality Start Riverside County (QSRC) participants file into QSRC coach Maria Bercerra’s Making the Most of Classroom Interaction (MMCI) group coaching course, she looks each of them in the eyes and greets them warmly by name. To her, it makes perfect sense: “If you’re telling teachers, ‘you should be using the children’s first names, or you should be using a warm, calm voice, or you should be asking open ended questions…’ then as a coach, I need to be mindful of my practice, as well.”
Maria uses the Parallel Process when facilitating MMCI, which provides an in-depth look at the CLASS tool developed by Teachstone. MMCI provides teachers an opportunity to reflect on their interactions and implement effective teaching strategies. The Parallel Process allows trainers to model effective interactions including using first names, a warm calm voice, eye contact, feedback loops, and open-ended questions.
Janell Lawrence, Leslie Cox, and Debra Milligan of the Family Service Association (FSA) are just three of the educators who have benefited from Maria’s coaching approach to CLASS training. All three women are embedded mentor coaches who support the teachers and students at FSA’s 10 QSRC-participating sites.
They, along with FSA Director, Judy Wood, agree that one of the greatest benefits they’ve seen in their organization since joining QSRC has been the improved interactions between teachers and students as measured by the CLASS tool.
As Debra says, “Your environment, your activities, your assessments, it’s all about the child.”
With the support of Maria and the FSA coaches, the teachers of FSA are also engaged and excited to be using the CLASS tool to infuse quality learning moments into their daily routines. The coaches spend time with each of the teachers to share what they have learned, model positive behaviors, and help teachers prepare thoughtful lesson plans that contribute to children’s social, developmental, and academic achievement.
“One of the biggest things I seen change since we’ve been working on CLASS is the attitude of positivity with all the caregivers in the classroom. I go in and the staff are excited! They are not all out of breath, they are actually down there, interacting with the kids, and everyone has smiles on their faces. Routines aren’t taking all of their time because they were able to plan for the children,” says Janelle.
For Maria, that’s what makes it all worth it. She loves teaching the MMCI course as part of her job as a QSRC coach. To her, there is no better feeling than learning new strategies and different approaches, empowering educators to share that knowledge within their own organizations, and, ultimately, seeing the impact it makes on the teachers and children of Riverside County.