No Child Unseen

Fun fact: Here at ClasStars, while we’re technically an EdTech company, we’re not really about the technology. ClasStars is essentially about improving student-teacher engagement, empowering teachers, and connecting teachers to their students.

In fact, our ClasStars app is really designed to support a specific framework. So let’s dive into part one of this framework, and why we do what we do.

The Problem

When ClasStars was founded, there were two problems we were trying to solve:

1. Teachers are overburdened and overwhelmed.

2. By the time the students seeked help, it was too late and/or too difficult to intervene.

The question really came down to: How can we simplify things for teachers?

Some would say the root of the problem is a lack of resources, and that is part of the problem. However, there are schools and teachers that struggle despite having plenty of resources. This is not to say that schools shouldn’t push for more resources, but at the end of the day, what can truly make a difference is organization and managing what time, resources, and expectations you do have.

For instance, if you come into a classroom with unmanaged (that is, impractical) expectations, you will naturally be frustrated, exhausted, and eventually burnt out.

We as educators know what the expected goals are academically. You know what to cover, what the curriculum is, what the objective is. But when it comes to social emotional needs for students – connecting with students, developing relationships, engaging with them regularly – how do you plan that out? How do you budget resources for that? Those goals are very unclear, expectations are all over the place, and most teachers really figure it out as you go.

This is the core of the problem that ClasStars is solving.

The Framework

A teacher would never (we hope) walk up to a child, take the work they’re doing, and just destroy it. We can all agree that would be extremely discouraging and demoralizing.

But here’s the interesting thing: research shows that ignoring someone’s work is just as demoralizing as destroying it. 

The fact of the matter is that when we’re focused on something, we’re focused to the point of exclusion of everything else; that’s just how the human brain functions. When a teacher is focused on a student, or a part of the lesson, it is to the exclusion of everyone else. It’s not that we’re purposefully ignoring some students’ work and focusing on others, but it’s simply human nature.

It doesn’t matter if it’s on purpose or not though; students who are overlooked aren’t getting the feedback, engagement, and encouragement that they need.

So teachers, please: Don’t let anyone go unnoticed. Don’t ignore anybody. Don’t overlook anybody. Make sure that everyone is seen, and heard. Make sure everyone is acknowledged, because we don’t want to discourage anybody.

Part one of the framework is that every student is seen and heard.

A teacher must be mindful to notice and acknowledge every single student – that every student is getting positive feedback and encouragement. Each student is entitled to that; they deserve to get positive feedback and support from their teacher every day. They shouldn’t need to earn it. Programs where students earn points for behavior or work are missing this critical point.

No child should go unseen.

We know: it’s not a simple thing to do. When teachers start with ClasStars, one of the biggest feedback we get is that they didn’t even realize how they were interacting with their students once they got caught up with the day. You’re focused on so many things.

That’s precisely why it’s important to be conscious about it, to be mindful of it. The best thing is to keep your own record: keep a log of students you’re engaging with. It’s as simple as taking a class list and marking a check next to a name when you engage positively with a student.

There are many different opportunities to positively engage with students.

In the morning when everyone is coming into the classroom greet them at the door

First few minutes of a lesson

After you teach the lesson and doing a formative assessment

Do what works for you as a teacher, but just be mindful.

Of course, ClasStars does make it very simple because we’ve set up the system for you. Set up your classroom, and you can simply swipe with a finger to record an engagement and keep track of given feedback over time.

With a tool like ClasStars – or something as simple as a print out of the class list – keep track of which students have gotten positive feedback from you and which students still need your attention. Let’s achieve “No Child Unseen” together.

Fun fact: Here at ClasStars, while we’re technically an EdTech company, we’re not really about the technology. ClasStars is essentially about improving student-teacher engagement, empowering teachers, and connecting teachers to their students. 

In fact, our ClasStars app is really designed to support a specific framework. So let’s dive into part one of this framework, and why we do what we do. 

The Problem

When ClasStars was founded, there were two problems we were trying to solve:

  1. Teachers are overburdened and overwhelmed.
  2. By the time the students seeked help, it was too late and/or too difficult to intervene.

The question really came down to: How can we simplify things for teachers?

Some would say the root of the problem is a lack of resources, and that is part of the problem. However, there are schools and teachers that struggle despite having plenty of resources. This is not to say that schools shouldn’t push for more resources, but at the end of the day, what can truly make a difference is organization and managing what time, resources, and expectations you do have. 

For instance, if you come into a classroom with unmanaged (that is, impractical) expectations, you will naturally be frustrated, exhausted, and eventually burnt out. 

We as educators know what the expected goals are academically. You know what to cover, what the curriculum is, what the objective is. But when it comes to social emotional needs for students – connecting with students, developing relationships, engaging with them regularly – how do you plan that out? How do you budget resources for that? Those goals are very unclear, expectations are all over the place, and most teachers really figure it out as you go. 

This is the core of the problem that ClasStars is solving.

The Framework

A teacher would never (we hope) walk up to a child, take the work they’re doing, and just destroy it. We can all agree that would be extremely discouraging and demoralizing. 

But here’s the interesting thing: research shows that ignoring someone’s work is just as demoralizing as destroying it. 

The fact of the matter is that when we’re focused on something, we’re focused to the point of exclusion of everything else; that’s just how the human brain functions. When a teacher is focused on a student, or a part of the lesson, it is to the exclusion of everyone else. It’s not that we’re purposefully ignoring some students’ work and focusing on others, but it’s simply human nature.

It doesn’t matter if it’s on purpose or not though; students who are overlooked aren’t getting the feedback, engagement, and encouragement that they need. 

So teachers, please: Don’t let anyone go unnoticed. Don’t ignore anybody. Don’t overlook anybody. Make sure that everyone is seen, and heard. Make sure everyone is acknowledged, because we don’t want to discourage anybody.

Part one of the framework is that every student is seen and heard. 

A teacher must be mindful to notice and acknowledge every single student – that every student is getting positive feedback and encouragement. Each student is entitled to that; they deserve to get positive feedback and support from their teacher every day. They shouldn’t need to earn it. Programs where students earn points for behavior or work are missing this critical point. 

No child should go unseen.

We know: it’s not a simple thing to do. When teachers start with ClasStars, one of the biggest feedback we get is that they didn’t even realize how they were interacting with their students once they got caught up with the day. You’re focused on so many things. 

That’s precisely why it’s important to be conscious about it, to be mindful of it. The best thing is to keep your own record: keep a log of students you’re engaging with. It’s as simple as taking a class list and marking a check next to a name when you engage positively with a student. 

There are many different opportunities to positively engage with students.

  • In the morning when everyone is coming into the classroom greet them at the door
  • First few minutes of a lesson
  • After you teach the lesson and doing a formative assessment

Do what works for you as a teacher, but just be mindful. 

Of course, ClasStars does make it very simple because we’ve set up the system for you. Set up your classroom, and you can simply swipe with a finger to record an engagement and keep track of given feedback over time. 

With a tool like ClasStars – or something as simple as a print out of the class list – keep track of which students have gotten positive feedback from you and which students still need your attention. Let’s achieve “No Child Unseen” together.