Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Work with Children in Group Settings
Shela Jooma: Welcome to Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Work in Group Settings. That's quite a mouthful for the title of this webinar. So, through the course of our conversation today, we're going to refer to early childhood professionals who work with children in group settings as teachers and child care providers. And these teachers and professionals can work in center-based care, Head Start, Early Head Start, primary child care, any variety of settings where children are in groups.
So, this is the second webinar in our series on Relationship-Based Competencies. Some of you may have joined us a couple weeks ago for the Overview of the Relationship-Based Competencies. Today, we're going to talk specifically about competencies for teachers and child care providers. And then in a few weeks, we'll have another webinar for family service professionals, and then finally, we'll round up the series with webinar for home visitors. So, before we get started, I want to make sure that everyone has a chance to introduce themselves. My name is Shela Jooma. I am a resource development manager with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. And I am here today with my colleagues Dr. Cathy Ayoub and Brandi Black Thacker. Cathy, would you like to introduce yourself?
Cathy Ayoub: Sure, thank you, Shela. Hi, everybody. I am Cathy Ayoub and I am one of the principal investigators at the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement and have had the real privilege to think about and then actually work on writing, developing the relationship-based competencies and I'm so excited to be here today to really introduce in detail for the first time these competencies that relate to professionals who work with children in groups. Brandi?
Brandi Black Thacker: Hey, guys. It's such an honor to be with you here today. My name is Brandi Black Thacker, and I am the director of T/TA and Collaboration for the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, and I can't tell you how long we've been waiting to talk to you specifically. So, we're excited to jump in straight away and start sharing and continue to learn from you too.
Shela: Thank you, Cathy. Thank you, Brandi. So, getting us started, our objectives for today are to discuss how the Relationship-Based Competencies can be used by teachers and child care providers in their day to day work and also to explore how both staff and supervisors can use the RBCs for professional development. And then you recognize that, you know, as early child care professionals, you may come from different settings, some of you may come from large programs, some of you may come from small programs, and we're hoping that these competencies will apply in some way to the work that you do.
Some of them may be more relevant than others and some of them may be challenging or some may not even be applicable. But we're hoping that you can find the examples helpful to everyone and use them to spark new ideas for strengthening your efforts at family engagement. So, let's start with a poll so that we can understand what your background knowledge is.
So, Nina, if you can take us to the poll question and everyone can get a chance to respond. So, let us know how familiar you are with the relationship-based competencies. As Brandi likes to say, "Do you know it, love it, live it?" "Do you have a general understanding, but may be don't reference it quite regularly?" "Are you familiar with them, but need to better absorb the contents?" Or are you acting as, "What is and RBC?" All right, we quickly have kind of a mixed level familiarity here. The majority are familiar with the RBCs but need to absorb the content with kind of an equal number of having a general understanding but not referencing them regularly, and also not having familiarity with the RBC level. So, this is a great amount of information for us to get started. And, Brandi, I will turn it over to you to help us understand what is an RBC.
Brandi: That sounds great, Shela, thank you so much. And thank you guys for sharing with us about where you are coming into this conversation because it will certainly help us individualize as we go forward. I wanted to check in with you quickly too, as Shela mentioned earlier, this is a second of four relationship based competencies or what we call for shorthand, RBCs webinars. And so we were interested in seeing how many of you are here with us for the first webinar that we did as an overview, that if you could just tell us in general chat, "Me. Me. Me." We felt like it's interesting to see if we have folks that had joined us the first time. Oh, there are quite a few of you. Good to see you. Oh, first timers, we're so glad you're here too. And we want to make sure to watch where we might need to hover and to pay attention also for those of you that may have heard some of that information before. So, hopefully, we'll strike the exact right balance so that everybody, whether you're here for the first time or the second time that you'll get what you need. You guys keep us posted in chat, okay? All right, well, the first thing that I want to share with you that these are new and updated.
For those of you who might have been familiar with the relationship-based competencies or the RBCs of yesteryear, you know that we have like an overall universal document that really winded itself to supporting all of us who are in relationship and walk beside families, and there were no roles specific like examples of which we have today. So, for those of you that are with us for the first time, you know that I call this the sweet suite. We have a suite of four documents now that I think you guys are really gonna love. What you see on the left hand side in the green box is our universal document, and you guys know as well now that we talk about family engagement being everybody's business. For a family to be engaged is not only where they grow, it's where the child grows. So, we all have a huge investment in making sure that both the adults and the little folk grow in progress in the ways that we want them to, we hope they do, and more importantly, the way they hope they do as we get to partner beside them that this green document or the overview which many of you heard the last time is really in general how each of us can walk beside families in meaningful ways and what all of us lead in our tool belt to make those deposits in relationship with that family.
Later in the series, we'll talk about the light blue box and the family service professionals with specific examples that are connected to their day to day work. And today, can I get a drum roll, please, everybody in the general chat? I don't know how you type that, but give it a try. We're here to talk about the... Or see, Tony, work it out, I like it. We're here to talk about the specific examples and setups for teachers and family child care providers. And as Shela mentioned earlier, this is exactly what we're excited to think about with you guys because it applies to everybody across early childhood. And we'll talk about this here in a little bit in further detail, but I want you guys to know that there is language in here like professionals who work with children in group settings that is big and broad and general for a reason. We got to write this with a lot of stakeholders, with a lot of experts, with a lot of folks like you that teach us from programs every day for a big large audience across all of early childhood.
So, what Shela alluded to was not only the teachers, family child care providers, the folks in Head Start, Early Head Start, Child Care get to be able to use these, but we've cross referenced them with a bunch of different paradigms too, so if you're connected to other codes of ethics or like the NAEYC Code, you're going to see a lot of a great overlap here that we think you're going to resonate with. So, that's what we're going to talk about today, teachers and child care providers. And then the last in our series, last but not least, will be the discussion in the dark blue box for the home visitors that we'll be able to showcase some of those specific examples and the setup that we've developed specifically for that group of experts. So, hopefully that's exciting to you guys because this sure has been to us.
So, without further ado, many of you said what in the world is an RBC, so here is our, you know, official operational definition. Right, you guys didn't know I can do that on a fake accent, did you? It is a set of knowledge, skills, and individual practices. I really want you to keep those three like set of words in the front of your mind because we're gonna talk about those a few times. So, let me repeat them for emphasis. A set of knowledge, skills, and individual practices, those are the ones you want to put a pin on, and other characteristics including attributes, behaviors, and actions that are necessary or critical to be effective in family engagement work. And I want to pause here because you guys heard Cathy talk a little bit that she's very humble always in how important she is to this team and so many folks across the country, but she's one of the leaders not only in terms of thought leaders, and writers, managers of this whole project, but I want her to add any more language here that she feels is, you know, useful, especially since so many of us have come into this conversation newly today.
Cathy: Oh, thank you, Brandi. You know, I think you said almost all of it. The only thing that I would want to probably say again for some of you is that in developing and writing these relationship-based competencies, we really did go out to the organizations that represent early childhood, we talked to teachers in programs, we talked to family child care providers, we talked to their supervisors, we talked to folks at the state level, we talked to folks in regions. And again, we went -- Like I said, we went NAEYC, there's a wonderful organization called Cupid, that is an organization of professors who teach in early childhood, and we asked them about competencies. We talked to -- We looked at certification for teachers and all the questions that are asked there. We went to the Early Childhood and Family Engagement Research, so we really tried to cover the waterfront and not create something that didn't mesh with information that's out there that may co-relate or be related to these competencies. Back to you, Brandi.
Brandi: Thank you for that, Cathy. So, you just enhance it every time. I can't go by that side making sure you get to add. So, let's look at this. Remember when I asked you guys to kind of keep in your minds this terminology because it really stacks upon itself, and it's important for all of us to know how these terms coincide with each other and that how they connect. So, check it out. Remember I said knowledge, skills, and individual practices. Well, here's how we break those down. Knowledge is what professionals need to know. Makes sense, right? Skills are what we need to be able to do, and then we bring it on home with individual practices about how we actually do those things. So, it's the more concrete part. I have to show you guys. You see the little addition thing here.
So, knowledge plus skills plus practices equals this whole overarching term of Professional Practice. Now this is going to be meaningful to several of you for several reasons. But we want to put like an emphasis on a couple of things here. So, you guys see this professional practices, again, the combination of the knowledge, skills, and individual practices that are measurable and observable. And I want to pause here for our Head Start family. Measureable and observable really is a key part to your coaching requirement, right? Can I get a witness in the chat to the coaching requirement? And so that part in particular, we want to find those things in places that are specifically for that coaching model, observable, right? Oh, say amen, take it on and move on. And take beyond measurable and observable, describe what folks need to know about how to do the work successfully. So, when we say that we've really tried to be thoughtful in how you do what you do every day and not add things on but hopefully offer ideas to supplement, you're already at great work, that's exactly what we mean. So, I just wanted to kind of point those things out, and we'll try to bring those specific examples that relates, you know, to specifically teachers and family child care providers in this discussion so that you'll have that in your back pocket if you could find those things useful.
Okay, now there's a couple of things here. You guys did not see this. For those of you that were here the first time, these are a set of key terms that we listed up, but we find them very important that we are all on the same page with these core, critical, foundational, super important terms. So, you can see here. The first one at the very top, you know, is our love, it's how and why we do what we do around family engagement. And I'm just going to give you the first little bit here in terms of citizens, so certainly feel free to read on. But this is an absolutely interactive process for which we as early childhood professionals, family folks, and children build positive goal-oriented relationships. And, guys, I have to tell you, you know about us, involvement is different from engagement, as family has to be engaged, whether there's reciprocity, where families take the lead before they can grow or their children can grow. I think I need to say that again. Engagement is a specific word that we use to showcase the connection on to and with families where they take the lead, where there's a deeper level of being with and beside us. And when a family is engaged and only when they're engaged is when they can grow and when their children can grow. And you guys know we spring out of bed and just go ready, right?
I mean, it's how and why we do what we do. So, that makes family engagement a whole another level of, let's be honest, and critical. So, I just wanted to kind of, you know, exclamation point that, parents and family, you'll notice that we use these terms interchangeably in a lot of this document that you'll mostly hear us as we're talking in the big wide world lean our self into family because we really want to honor all constellations of family. You guys can see this here. These could be biological, adoptive, foster parents, step-parents or grandparents.
Cathy: Let me pick up a little bit where Brandi left off. Again, she was talking about ways in which we've used a number of these terms. So, again, in talking about parent and family, let's go to that. These terms are often used interchangeably throughout the document. We wanted to make sure that for each of you, you could decide where things apply to a given family, where there may be a single parent, two parents, families that are really working along together for the child, and it really refers to all of the adults who interact with the early childhood programs and systems to support all those children in their care. And as you might imagine, this really includes any constellation of family that you see in your programs. Finally, we're talking about strengths-based perspective, and we just want to make sure that we have a definition here that really fits. This is really an approach to working with families that focuses on their interests, abilities, motivations, and resources. And we first want to focus on their strengths. I want to say this doesn't mean that you avoid focusing on problems and needs. But you really think about those problems and needs from a strength-based perspective, and taking a strength-based perspective as we know helps really build that engaging relationship, that strong relationship with families, so that it does make it more comfortable and possible to sometimes talk about the difficult things, as well.
Brandi: And one of the things we really want to do, as Cathy mentioned, let me back up one thought here. With the strength-based perspective is move from these overarching terms around family engagement, parent and family, the strength-based pieces 'cause these come, you know, pretty organically to all of us. And get into some nitty-gritty around what these competencies are and there are ten of them. And then we want to let Cathy and all of her expertise and amazing be able to walk you through what each of the ten look and sound like, but I want to give you some foreshadowing, okay? I want you guys to being looking carefully at each of the ten that Cathy introduced to us, we have a little operational definition there. And I want you to keep thinking about where you resonate and the places where you find yourself connecting. So, keep that in mind as Cathy gives us a tour of the ten. Here we go, Cathy.
Cathy: So, there are ten relationship-based competencies for teachers and child care providers, and those of you who joined us in the last webinar, you will notice that these are the same as those competencies or these general headings are the same as the competencies that are listed in our universal document. By the way, if you want to hold on to this and have it in your hand, if you look at the left side of your screen, you will see that you have downloadable versions of both the teacher, what we're calling the competencies for teachers and professionals who work with children and groups, and also the overview. So, we encourage you to go ahead and download those, and open them up if you can, take a look because we're going to talk about them in detail. So, let me start with the first four. We did intentionally put these in a given order. We really tried to put the competencies that we thought were most universal and more central to work first, and the first seven really represent different specific facets of family engagement issues that providers and teachers really should think about in their work.
So, as you can see the first one, it's positive, goal-oriented relationships. Again, as you might imagine, this is engaging in mutually respectful positive and goal oriented relationships with families, and you do this both to promote outcomes in the children under your care in your classrooms as well as to support family outcomes. And we do know from the research that those two are really highly connected, that families have the most impact on the outcomes for their children. So, engaging with families is something that we hope that teachers and providers working with children and groups will consider as a powerful way to also promote progress with the children that you serve directly. The second RBC in this we're going to look at in more detail in a few minutes really has to do with self-awareness and culturally responsive relationships. I think that one pretty much speaks for itself.
The third RBC is family well-being and families as learners. So, this RBC really collapses both issues around family well-being, both physical and mental health, other situations that may either reflect... And presented adversities to well-being as well as some of the positive conditions about having really adequate and continue with housing and also families as learners, how do the adult learners really continue their own growth and then development. The fourth one is parent-child relationships and families as lifelong educators of their children. And this one is obviously central to teachers whose primary responsibility is to really look at parent-child relationships in order to support and understand the work that they do every day with the children in their classroom and also to really use the critical role that families play with their children as lifelong educators to really support the children's learning so that when you partner with parents, you have really increased geometrically your influence on that child and that child's learning.
Now we're going to go on to the next four, but before we do that, I want to ask any of you who are thinking about these RBCs, if you have thoughts about some more specific ways that any of these four, any of the other six that we talk about, might specifically be illustrated through teachers in classrooms or in child care, family child care settings, please feel free to put that into chat. Let us know what you're thinking as we're talking about these general categories. Okay, let's go on to the next slide. Here's five, six, and seven.
Number five, family connections to peers and community. This is really how teachers can work with families to strengthen the family support networks and connections with other parents and community members. One of the first things I think about here has to do with transitions. How we know that often times teachers are central to supporting families in helping their children transition, sometimes it's from an infant and toddler setting or a home-base setting, to a center-based setting, to really manage both those toddler and pre-school years and moving from one classroom to the other when that is part of the process from year to year, and that all important transition for children when they move into kindergarten. I can also think of some other critical times that are central for teachers. If there are children that are struggling with learning in some ways and need a special referral, need some support from early intervention or need an IEP in a classroom, those are critical times when partnering with families might be really helpful and where teachers really need to understand and oftentimes have knowledge, skills, and practices in engaging with those community organizations. And I'm sure all of you can think of many other examples where this might be the case. So, family's access to community resources in many ways is a partner to number five.
So, what do families know about the use of community resources? How can teachers and child care providers working with kids in groups really support families in understanding resources, everything from what about the libraries in town, or what about the parks, or what about the school system that may be able to evaluate a child who's having a learning problem, any of those kinds of situations. Then we go to number seven, and number seven is new by the way. The relationship-based competencies as Brandi mentioned that were developed about six years ago didn't include leadership and advocacy, and there were so many times when it seemed so important to think about the role of teachers in really supporting and working alongside parents to build their strength as advocates. Again, I think about some of the IEP
meetings that I've had the privilege to sit in on and that teacher from that Head Start program or from the child care program was there with that parent as a model for how to advocate, as a support for that parent, and it made an extraordinary difference. So, that's one example. Now we're going to go on to 8, 9, and 10.
And eight is a bit of a kind of a transition competency. Coordinated, integrated, and comprehensive services. This is the competency that says, as a teacher, you need to put it all together around family engagement so that as a teacher, you work with the other professionals in your organization and across agencies in the community to support coordinated, integrated, and comprehensive services for families so that families don't see the services that they're referred to, that they're receiving as side load so they don't have to reinvent the wheel every time they walk to the door of a new institution or they engage in an additional activity that relates to their children. Number nine, data-driven services and continuous improvement. As you might imagine, those of you in Head Start and Early Head Start, we know this is of special emphasis.
Those of you in child care programs, it's obviously important too. But teachers collect so much knowledge and information all the time. You gather information from families if you have those families showing up to drop off or pick up their children. You can learn so much about families. You can learn about families in a lot of other contexts. You also learn about families from their children. How many amazing stories have you heard about children's family life through their ongoing activities in the classroom every day?
So, it's really taking that information that you hear every day, and sometimes we organize it more systematically, sometimes it's even in the form of a standardized developmental screening, for example.
But again, it's really all about how do you take the information that you have as teachers, that you have uniquely, often as teachers, and use it to reflect, to share it with families. My guess is that you do it in individual family to family basis whenever you have a conference, a progress conference around their children. But then you take all the information what you learned from all the families of the children in your classroom and also put that together. How does that really help you to plan for the children in your classroom to really better support the families and their abilities to be the best parent that they can for their children and also to support your program and your community. Last but not least, we're talking about number 10 which has to do with professional growth around family engagement issues for teachers. And these are specific... This is specific knowledge, skill, and practice that really outlines professionalism and active participation for ongoing professional development related to family engagement. Okay. So, those are the 10. That is essentially where we are. Brandi.
Brandi: Well, Cathy, you know, I tried to warn everybody. [Laughter] I wanted you guys to think of the list about which of these 10 that you absolutely resonate with. But before we go on to this slide, I have questions for you in chat. Many of you brought this up. I do want to just mention, on the left-hand side of your screen, you're going to see a pod about midway down that says Files for Download. There are two files for your viewing pleasure, today or whenever you want to review them again. One is the document that includes everything on reference in here specific to teachers and family child care providers. And at the end, I guess you guys are going to be so critical, the power point is over there, too.
So, you can -- What you have to do though is you click one of the files and then you have to actually click the Download File button. And I believe that you can do that separately or at least separately is probably your best way to go because it will pull you away from the screen. But I want to do another -- You have both there in case that could be useful for you. The other thing you should know about all of our good bits is that they live on the ECLKC. Now depending on which part of the country you live in, we might call it eclick, a-click, the ECLKC, other things, just as it how it happened in hot spots for those in the Head Start.
Also, if you come in to us today from Child Care, we have these on the CCTA website for you to go take a peep at if you ever want to find them again and we're not right here in the room with you. Now without further ado, I want to hear from you guys. Let's start with this top question in purple. "Which of the RBCs do you think apply most commonly to your work?" Now you guys can see we have all kind of them here, 'cause if you're like me, you need the visual cue. Which one of these? And you can just put the number.
You don't have to write out the whole thing. Which one of these do you guys feel like most commonly applies?
Oh, Soniya weighs in first. She's number one and she chose the number one. Oh, good. This is a great diverse list. Look here, Cathy. If you want some, they're coordinated, integrated, several with all three.
Anna says, "Family well-being and learners." Lana comes in with two, the self aware and culturally responsive. Oh, TJ has first four, the parent-child relationships, families as lifelong educators. Two and four, two and three, one and four.
Cathy: Now and for Leisha, this is all of them, like I can't even decide. [Laughter] I love it. This is great. And Julie with one and nine. Wow. Yeah, you know, Brandi, this is so much, this is so great because I think the issues start with the one that resonates the most with you, with the work that you're doing, with where you are -- And really go from there. Start with where you know it really resonates, where you really feel successful, or even a place where you say "I'm really successful here but I'd like to do more in three pieces of this one." So, because we know that 10 is a lot, but if you take them one by one and even you couple them the way that some of you have done, and then those of you brave souls who were looking at all of them. Each person can tackle these in a different way that sets best for you.
Brandi: Oh, Cathy, I love that segue way because then we'll ask here and everyone should test away on this, too, so I'm going to give you a pause so you can finish typing if you started. But we want to also know what hits you straight away about which ones you want to understand more about. Let's hear from that. We're going to shift gears. We want to know which one of these do you want to think more about spending more time with.
Cathy: Yeah, lots of nines. And you know, Brandi, the number nine just is part of my heart, my secret is I'm also a researcher, so really what I am is a data hoarder. I love thinking about really using everything we do and we can learn to make things better for ourselves and for the families that we partner with.
Brandi: Oh, Cathy, this is great. It also gives us information, too, of --
Cathy: And I have a data partner. I'm sorry, Brandi. Look at this, Denise loves the data. [Laughter] I am so excited.
Brandi: Uh-oh, Denise. Now you've done it.
Cathy: But you have to have the first seven to be able, even the first eight to think about data about what. So, I can think of nine alone.
Brandi: Yeah, Denise, look out. Well, Cathy is in good company, I have to say, because she's right. These are ordered in a specific way, and the really cool part about these is they build on each other, and you can probably see, you know, how they stack, right, Cathy?
Cathy: You can, although I do want to say just because they were ordered in a specific way, it really does, and I think we've made this clear, but I just want to say it again, it doesn't mean that you have to start with number one. I mean we think number one around positive, goal-oriented relationships is kind of core to everything else. But, you know, people should take a look and see, again, what really resonates the most. So, that's a great way to start.
Brandi: Oh, God. I know that, you know, any time I get spend time with you, I just fly right on by in that we need to click over to another set of key terms that are going to be important. And, Cathy, I don't know if you've noticed it, but I saw at least one or two folks mention that they are coaches for teachers, and so we definitely wanted to break down a few other ways that the terms coincide with the work that you do already and how they relate here. So, I'm gonna pause and let Cathy take it away.
Cathy: Okay. Thank you, Brandi. Well, we wanted to talk a little bit about these terms and just to share them with you and see what you think about these terms. But it was important for us to really understand what some of these terms mean and to really point them out to people. So, when we're thinking about professional development, you can see the first term that we have up here. When we're talking about teachers and professionals who work with children in groups is coaching. And we know that, you know, in the Head Start world, that there actually are standards that apply specifically to coaching. Coaching like reflective practice, and reflective supervision, which are the two at the bottom, are always in which we take the knowledge in a given RBC and we translate it into skills. It's the medium by which we do this. In other words, it is a way to help teachers learn the practices.
And so the hope is that you could use the RBCs if you are a coach, or if you are supervisor working with a coach, or we know in some situation, coaches and supervisors are the same, although in some models, that's not necessarily a recommendation, you know, in small communities, maybe the same person.
Anyway, that with coaching -- There is a real thought to thinking about the RBCs as in some ways an outline for family engagement practice that really can be used to developing some of those coaching goals.
So, that's essentially coaching.
We also want to make sure that there is some understanding around reflective practice and reflective supervision, and we don't consider coaching, reflective practice, reflective supervision, and even mentorship which I think is embedded in all three as totally different processes. Oftentimes a given coaching model or a given reflective practice model, yes, it does have particular, very unique steps and ways of implementing the work, but the notions of coaching are very similar. And I think that we often
use reflective practice in the process of coaching and mentoring, and reflective practice is really just taking the time to think about what has happened, what is happening, and what should happen, to step back and think about where we are in the process of engaging in any activity whether it's around understanding skill building or actually implementing practices. And reflective supervision is really that collaborative relationship to support professional growth that uses that particular stance.
There are a couple of other terms here, really quickly, we want to make sure that when we use the word organizational culture that that was clear, so that's just a shared set of assumptions, beliefs, values, and goals and they should guide staff interactions. And we want to make sure that there is some support for developing that organizational culture through this family engagement work. Parallel process is something else. It's really important and this is in here in particular because not only do we have a category all the way through the RBCs that really delineate in considerable detail what the knowledge, skills, and practices are under each of the 10 RBC groups or components. But we also have a column for supervisors. And we often then talk about parallel practice. In other words, this is when an individual's behaviors and practices
are similar to the behaviors, practices, and reaction of others, and we're all working in parallel. So, when the supervisor or even a coach is modeling for the teacher, that's a parallel process.
Teachers may be modeling for the parent and parent may be modeling for teachers what is the best way to interact with their children, so parallel process seemed to be something to really pull out. And finally, we're talking about professional boundaries. And this really has to do with both the limits and professional responsibility of a role, and how we think about that, and how it needs to have some parameters but also can be flexible and to really think about the difference between personal and professional relationships, and how those are negotiated throughout our professional lives. That's probably enough said about key terms. Let me move on to really talk about some very concrete examples of knowledge, skills, and practices for teachers and child care providers. And we're gonna go to competency two which is selfaware
and culturally responsive relationships. So, let's think about knowledge, skills, and practices specifically for teachers and child care providers. So, this first knowledge bullet is to understand that each family has unique strengths and resilience.
And I would ask, if you could think about some concrete ways in which teachers really need to gain knowledge around family unique strengths and resilience and in thinking about the knowledge category, here's some of the things that are listed under the specific knowledge category for these competencies that teachers understand each family has unique strengths and resilience, that they understand that family's cultures, influence care-giving practices, and shape the child's early development. So, some specific knowledge about that that they understand and respect the variation in family's cultures, experiences, expectations in child-rearing beliefs and practices, that they also understand their own beliefs and values and experiences, and how those really influence both their skill-building and their practices, and I could go on. And my hope is you can think of some very specific situations and ways in which you might think about both gaining knowledge, and then thinking about that skill that a teacher would learn around information, around strength, cultures, languages, beliefs, values, and circumstances.
So, the kinds of skills, as a teacher, I really might want to think about might have to do with what kind of specific skills do I need in building positive relationships with a family that may be from a culture that's very different than mine, how do I need to gain some knowledge about that family's culture, but then how do I then develop the skill to ask about that information, to really connect with that family, to observe, to understand how even in that child's behavior in the classroom may be directly related to the
family's variation in culture, language, beliefs, and value, and circumstances. And then how do I apply that, how do I build that into my ongoing practice so when the next new family comes into my classroom, it's really a family whose culture or values or circumstance is very different. How can I then take what I have, the knowledge and skill, and apply that to practice that can really support my showing sensitivity and respect for that particular family in an effort to both build my relationship with them and to provide the best possible classroom environment and learning for their child.
Brandi: Cathy, before we leave this slide, I just want to point out what I appreciate. Well, I appreciate so many things. But I love the way that it builds on itself. Okay, so you guys remember I said keep a pin on knowledge, skills, and practices. Here they are manifested in a real way specific to teachers. And I love how even the verbs in these statements support this scaffolding, I know that's the word you guys use a lot, in our own learning. So, the knowledge is if we understand, then we seek, and then we use.
So, I just love the way that these things build on each other. And side note for those of you probably seen a few in the chat, who participate in and/or beneficiaries of the coaching model, practices can be stolen, for your, like, for instance of model that we use, practice-based coaching notions.
So, we just want to make some of those connections for you because we're very excited about how, I'm guessing, many of these things confirm and honor as we've seen in chat and when we mentioned to a couple of folks, just are really confirmed in what they do and already know that hopefully they're some things that you really get into the lead of this document that you'll find, that you can use to build through our personal trajectory, you know, towards like the professional development pieces that mean something to you. Sorry, Cathy, I got, you know, I get excited. Before we transition over to the slide that's actually for supervisors, this slide in the middle really just gives the nudge just to what I said about how they're all connected to each other and you'll remember that the three of these things actually culminate to that overarching professional practice piece. So, let me hush again. Let the real expert here tell us a bit about what it looks like for supervisors or teachers or coaches.
Cathy: Absolutely, Brandi. You know, I'm so excited, and I hope that what is coming across, it looks like some of things that you're suggesting, you're embedding the things that you are already do that you do well. You know, there are questions here about dual language learners, and a coordinated approach in individualizing for children, and also understanding how different families may respond differently to adversity and loss like a recent death in the community. Also the notion that building a bridge is a challenge. When teachers are focused on educating children day to day, and this is one of the challenges we would put forward to all of you because we know that families are the most powerful and lifelong teachers for their children, even though all of us who have been teachers, you know, we think of ourselves as being having a lot of influence, which we do, but families really have so much more.
So, when we partner with them, we really increase those things that we're really doing in the classroom every day with the kids. So, we really can work with families to partner with them, to really enhance all that hard work we do day to day in the classroom. That said, just for the last couple of minutes, here are some examples, again and around competency two, around self-aware and culturally responsive relationships that are for supervisors of teachers. So, we want to also not forget the right hand column in our columns if you get into our resource. And think about what kind of knowledge, skill, and practice do supervisors need to have. So, in thinking about this, first of all, supervisors view professionals and families as having unique strength and resilience with diverse values, temperaments, and learning styles. So, again, the teacher needs to be supported by a supervisor who also has this deep knowledge and that this supervisor can then show or model, have the skill of demonstrating respectful interest in learning about cultures and language and supporting the teacher in his or her ability and opportunity for that learning. That then gets translated into practices for the supervisor.
The supervisor may offer coaching and training, and I want to be clear the supervisor may offer that directly him or herself or may set up a system or an opportunity, it may bring coaching to the classroom and support the organization for coaches who may not be the supervisor, or offer training so it doesn't necessarily mean that a supervisor does all this directly, but that supervisors really practice developing the opportunities for both ongoing media or medium for helping teachers learn these skills, and it may be more than coaching. We're taking coaching and training here. I think that all involves reflective practice and mentoring as components of each. And the practice then here is to offer coaching and training to increase teachers and child care providers' skills for engaging with culturally and linguistically responsive relationships with families. So, you can see how these pieces connect. Just a final thing to mention here that we're not going to talk about in detail, but if you go to page 10 and 11 in the Teachers and Child Care Resource, you will see not only are there many more knowledge, skills, and practices but you'll also see a section at the end that talks about leadership practices. And these are leadership practices that go beyond just the immediate supervisor, but there are the practices that program leadership should be engaged in order to support both supervisors and teachers in really successfully practicing this particular competency.
I'm going to stop there and hand this back to Brandi.
Brandi: One thing that I wanted to mention is there's such rich sharing happening in chat, and one of the things, I mean, I'm seeing, what I really appreciate from you guys is the real, like what happened that we know, as you mentioned Cathy earlier, that Mario brought up around, time constraints and how we do what we do. I think they also then came back and said we do what we can and we invest our energy wildly, as we know how we are to that with each individual family, and that was the thing that came up too, like, if we all benefit from individualized interactions, the littlest folks to the grown-up folks, we all really have the opportunity to make those the positive relationships when we get the Head Start families in meaningful ways around culture, around language, around just meeting families where they are, and that's all of our job, you know, that's not specific to any one role, it's really what we're all responsible to do. The other thing also -- I can't believe this hour has gone by so fast. I'll tell you a couple things.
The PowerPoint over there does have all of the needy slides and it looks like we do need to make one little edit, maybe one of the slides got repeated and the other one didn't make it in. So, thank you so much for bringing that to our attention. But let's see what we can do to fix that and get it out for you quickly, and then side note, I don't know if you've got time, but we actually always hang out at least 15 minutes after the end of these webinars in case there are more things that you want to think about, talk about, other resources that you might find helpful. So, what we want to do here in service of bringing to an end like this portion as we transition, side note, I want you guys to know there are assessments for not only teachers and family child care providers but there's for the supervisors and/or coaches, and it allows you to go through each one of these competencies, and there's knowledge, skills, and practices and really assess where you think you are, people use these in coaching for that needs assessments, people use these in reflective practice and supervision as Cathy mentioned before because, you know, those elements are actually embedded in the coaching model. So, there are just thousand different ways that we think you guys could find these helpful and that you told us that you could find helpful. So, we didn't want to leave this portion of our time together today without letting you know about those assessments and the values that we've been hearing from you that they help. remind everybody that come back and see us, I know so many of you in the room are family service professionals, we're going to be talking to you specifically with examples that are perfectly along with your day-to-day duties on October 11th and then certainly you can see at the end, very end here, last but not least, our home visitor, expert colleagues will be talking to you on November 1st. So, everybody's welcome all the time, come back and see us. We definitely love getting to spend time with you, and here's an important bit before we leave each other. Let me get my official voice on. You're going to get a thank you survey link today and when you complete that survey link, guess what, guys, you get an official certificate for your professional development file. It showcases that you spent time with us today, so when you go into your email box and you find that survey, and you complete it.
You're going to get a certificate that you can keep for your very own records and document that you spent a little time with us today. And with that, we're going to pause here, and we're going to hang out and answer any questions or highlights that you want to offer, things you want to share and celebrate. But before we officially close out this portion, thank you so much, the one and only Dr. Cathy Ayoub, our whole NCPFCE team, our federal leader, Kiersten Beigel from the Office of Head Start, and most
importantly all of you for spending your very valuable time with us today.
Well, I have to talk about Mario that we've already put here in chat. They're taking a more hands-on approach as managers, NCPFCE managers, shadowing and mentoring the teachers through the engagement process. Mario, let me just say to you, this is a super powerful model, and one of the things that we're always craving in our Head Start and child care community is, you know, where those silos may exist, just put the note down. So, in service of all of the folks that we have the honor to serve, we have this open communication channel and that's like really exciting model. Cathy, what else are you saying? I had to scroll up to scroll down.
Cathy: Oh, I was actually looking at some of the comments too. I wanted to say, I noticed that -- I know there are a number of family service folks who are really on here too, and one of the things that you will all notice is that and also for those of you in leadership positions is that although the detail when you look at the resource for teachers is focused on teachers, it is parallel to the work for family service folks and it's parallel for home visitors so that in places where essentially there is the same expectation and even some of the same practices may be important. You will find that there are same across roles. And then there's some obviously where there are some very special roles, you know, which teachers in the way they may engage with families and the opportunities they have may be very different than a family service
worker and then there are some situations where they both have similar opportunities for engagement.
So, we urge those of you in leadership to think about looking across and those of you who are family service folks, take a look at what we proposed for teachers, and then hopefully join us when we talk about family service RBCs and take a look at some of the similarities and differences.
Brandi: Well, Cathy, we're having confirmation too in the chat. Thank you, Sonia, she is saying that she feels like the information is great and something that's needed that she can reach out to their family service and home visiting folks on these areas and that the teaching team, I'm going to scroll up again here, haven't been able to be fully included yet. I think that goes back to what Mario said a little earlier about the real, in that, you know, there's so much that each of us carry and often we all wear different
hats and flashes, and so that makes the extra adventure. But she is saying that it's nice to hear messages from the national offices to reflect the inclusion of those component areas, and I fully agree. I mean, I really believe, not just in words, like with family engagement being everybody's business, it's not only what we say and it's not just a saying, it's science, like it's what we know to be true about how both children and their families grow.
Cathy: Those are really good points, Brandi. And, you know, there's so much sharing here with people from different backgrounds. I see Gretchen who says she's an occupational therapist. I hope that some of this resonated for you because we really feel like family engagement is everybody's business and any of you who don't have a specific role-based competency, set of competencies, please take a look at the universal or the overview handout because you're there, because we really need everybody on board.
Brandi: And I think that's a great point, Miss Cathy. What is that old saying? I always get sayings mixed up unless it's a country saying. Then I have those pretty good. But the more hands make lighter work, it's so true. And it's a little bit of a bigger investment on the front-end, but oh my goodness, does it pay off in the long run. For all of us, not only for families and their children, for our programs and are you all ready for this part? Our community. It has that big of a ripple effect.
Cathy: Well, and I'll throw this in, Brandi, with my researcher hat on. There is some really interesting evaluation that says that that embedding family engagement practices in teaching, in early childhood actually improves the satisfaction of teachers in the context of doing their jobs, and there are even some, you know, family engagement practices, sets of family engagement practices that have also shown to do things like reduce to staff turnover with teachers, to, again, improve their view of the professional climate in their organization, and to really increase their satisfaction with their job so that they're really -- It's not only something that is really good for the families and the kids but it's also good for the professionals who engage in these practices. So, it's a win-win-win.
Brandi: Yeah, and you know, Cathy, and you keep me ominous here, well, first of all, let me say something to you guys because I don't want you to feel anxious, the one and only Nina has been able to go over into the PowerPoint file and update it for you. So, now in your File for Download pod, on the left-hand side of your screen, midway down, it has a new file that says New RBCs for teachers. So, that way you guys can go in there and download the version. That is accurate.
Again, thank you for checking our shirttail about that. So, you can do that now or whenever you're ready.
And then, Cathy, I'm having a memory of something, I certainly couldn't quote the researcher, but, you know, we often are having a lot of dialogue around children experiencing challenging behaviors or, you know, the way we say there's children that have challenges, and they have big feelings and big emotions that they're grappling with how to, you know, sort of manifest, and I seem to recall in research a while back that it said, you know, if we effectively engage families and we have that deep relationship in that individualized way that we have, it absolutely can ultimately impact the behavior of the child and I thought, well -- Right? Am I right? Am I close?
Cathy: No, no, you're absolutely -- You've got it, Brandi, that you're absolutely right and, you know, again, what we know is at any time that a teacher is faced with talking to a parent about a difficult topic, you know, biting, think of this the first thing I used to, you know, as a mental health consultant, walk into a classroom, it was like, "Oh, what do I do?" But, you know, no matter what it is, if you've built that relationship with that family and you have really worked with them around in a strength-based way and you've regularly, you know, engaged them in conversation and partnered with them around the ongoing day-to-day things that relate to their children, then when you have to talk about something tough, you have that relationship to fall back on, and you have all those other encounters that are positive.
If you just have to come at the family, you know, with some difficult information and you don't have a relationship, it's much, much harder. So, it really does pay off, and there actually is a fair amount of research that says just what the issue that you raised, Brandi. It really does work to have the relationship.
It really -- There also some research that talks about it, it actually saves time for teachers.
Brandi: It really does and well, and the other thing, Cathy, that I wanted to say here is how many of us- It's just kind of like a bank account, the more deposits that we all make in those relationships with families means that if we have an accidental withdrawal or a mismatch, then we still have more, you know, deposits and withdrawals. So, our relationship is still starting and can be sustained over time. So, there's a lot of reasons to make those investments or how do they say, like Austin, Austin upfront --
Mario, I've seen what Mario has, let me see if I can -- Oh, sorry, Mario, I didn't see this one come by, a challenge that I've been noticing is teachers taking that initial from step 1 and moving on 2 through 10. They seem to be more classroom focused lesson plan, classroom arrangement for -- yes, 45, yes -- Yes, I remember all of those, and it's hard to get away from the old practice of the family partnership process is just developing goals and giving resources.
Yeah, Vanessa has a little virtual high-five going in there for you. This is very real, and I'll tell you, Laurie, the one way that we've been able to make strides in this area, in service of the incredible work that teachers do and the... and the incredible amount of work that we all carry is doing what we've just been saying, like figuring out where the teachers find strength and we can celebrate those in the classroom.
But also, like you guys did, go right to the real so they can offer what things are really hard or if the things where there are even mild challenges, and then we can actually support, like this whole connections who really being beside families in a deeper meaningful way that supports and lessens the heaviness of a lot of the other things that are very much classroom-specific, so that may sound a little too cryptic, Cathy, I'm quite sure that you'll have better words to offer. That's kind of what came to mind for me first. Yeah.
Cathy: No. I think that sounds right to me, Brandi. I had one thing that's a bit of a different direction, but I saw that Karen here was talking about family development credential courses and working for family service folks and I wanted to say, we will really be talking about the ways in which some of these credentialing courses and programs hopefully will fit with the competencies for family service workers that we're going to be talking about next time. And that is one of our hopes, just like with teachers we hope that these competencies will also influence the field and become embedded in both university courses as well as the kind of requirements for teachers.
The same we are hoping for family service workers. And so we do know that there are credentials and there's a standard that suggest that family service workers need to obtain a credential, and we'll be talking a little bit about that next time as well. There also is a list of those credentialing programs on ECLKC if any of you are interested, those of you in the family service role.
Brandi: Well, Cathy, I know this is the time that we promised. We always worry about keeping it longer than we said because we know how much you fit into one day and all of your day. I just wanted to say again thank you, guys, so much. We're grateful to get to spend time with you. We know what things that you have in front of you and any time that we get to spend is very valued. And thank you for all of the rich sharing that you've offered today, I've certainly learned a lot and grateful always for those interactions.
It's been great. Thank you all. We learn so much every time we do this. So, true. Well, join us again -- I believe it's October 11th and then one more time on November 1st. We're happy to help with whatever you guys need, you let us know, and we'll look forward to seeing and hearing you again real soon. Thank you, guys. Have a good rest of your day.
Cathy: Bye, everybody.Close
In this second webinar, explore ways teachers can apply the relationship-based competencies (RBCs) to engage families effectively in positive, goal-oriented relationships. Find out how to use the RBCs for professional development.