18 Degrees has been selected to participate in the Department of Early Education and Care’s (DEEC) pilot program, Early Childhood Support Organization Initiative. The goal of the pilot is to develop strategies that accelerate continuous improvement in teaching, curriculum, and leadership skills to assure children are receiving the highest levels of quality early education. The state has contracted Flamingo Early Learning to implement the program to develop powerful and effective classroom leaders that will improve child outcomes and school readiness.
Danielle Butler, Site Director, and Beth Darling, Lead Infant and Toddler Teacher, at the West Street child care site, are part of the first cohort of 19 teachers chosen from across the Commonwealth. For up to four years, they will engage in targeted coaching and peer learning opportunities.
This is done through virtual professional development classes and real-time classroom coaching. Cameras are set up in the classrooms, allowing program instructors to observe Danielle and Beth while teaching and interacting with parents, families, and other teaching staff. “At first, this was intimidating, said Darling, “but it helps me be aware of how I am teaching and speaking with people and make needed adjustments in tone or delivery to be better received.”
Butler explained that they are the first to participate in a program like this in Massachusetts and are “excited and honored to have been chosen.” “We are able to expand our professional and social network of teachers and strategize with each other.” The hope is that after Butler and Darling have completed a portion of this training, they will then become coaches and instructors for subsequent cohorts.
18 Degrees’ Early Education and Care Program partners with families in the early education of their children in a loving and encouraging environment that stimulates learning and growth. We provide care for infants through pre-school and promote ongoing learning and connection for the whole family through activities throughout the year.