CASE STUDY: THE ASAP PROGRAM
SEL Coaching for Early Childhood Educators with Swivl
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Helping to Make Childcare More Inclusive
In 2012, The ASaP Program (Access, Support and Participation) was created in response to a research study conducted in 2011 by Dr. Lesley Wiart for the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. In the study, titled The State of Inclusive Childcare in Alberta, Dr. Wiart and her colleagues identified several significant challenges facing licensed childcare centres. This included having limited access to resources to support the inclusion of all children.
Using the evidence-based Pyramid Model, developed by the Centre on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, ASaP provides one-on-one coaching to early childhood educators in order to:
- Build educators’ skills, knowledge, and confidence in Pyramid Model practices
- Ensure the use of inclusive practices and meaningful participation of ALL children
- Promote children’s healthy social and emotional development
- Support the wellbeing of early childhood educators, children, and families
Having conversations with educators in real-time is an integral part of what ASaP does. Being able to point out specific classroom strategies as they’re happening helps educators shift from focusing on what they already know to focusing on developing more inclusive strategies.
ASaP Program at a Glance
# of Coaches
Ages in Program
0 – 6
Area of Focus
SEL Coaching for Early Childhood Educators
Reflectivity + Robot
Year they started using Swivl Products
Why They Chose Swivl
In 2015, ASaP expanded its work from the Edmonton area to other regions of the province which meant working in more rural area.
“For some of our coaches who would be working in rural areas, we wanted to reduce drive time and provide a more efficient alternative to face-to-face coaching,” said Laura Blakley, ASaP Regional Supervisor.
“There were many reasons why we decided to use Reflectivity + Robot over other options. It’s a hands-free tool, which is especially important for working with young children. We love how the Robot tracks the educator around the classroom, which helps us see educators in their practice and hone in on their goals. Time-Stamped Comments help us have deeper and more meaningful dialogues with educators too,” said Lacy Bateman, ASaP Resource Lead.
After considering several coaching tools, ASaP decided Reflectivity + Robot met their needs best.
More Than a Tool for Feedback
Over time, the way ASaP used Reflectivity + Robot expanded beyond educators submitting videos to their coaches for feedback.
- Maria Makowiecki, an ASaP coach to an early learning and care centre, uses Reflectivity to create an easier way for her and her colleagues to set clear and actionable goals.
- Reflectivity + Robot helped the coaching become reciprocal. Coaches are able to easily record themselves modeling a classroom strategy to send directly to an educator they’re working with.
- ASaP coaches are recording themselves giving feedback to educators. This helps coaches self-reflect on their coaching practice and provides them with the opportunity to receive feedback and coaching from their supervisors.
ASaP began using Reflectivity as a relationship building tool, incorporating video into many aspects of their professional learning and remote coaching throughout a typical school year. Video-based activities include ice-breakers among coaches in professional learning sessions, modeling instructional strategies, and engaging in reflective feedback via text-based annotation. Throughout the pandemic, they also focused on the mental wellbeing of their program participants through virtual check-ins.
ASaP has found success helping educators who are new to video coaching become more at ease while recording themselves with these approaches:
- Suggesting that the coach send a personalized video introduction to the educator they’re coaching. Simply saying, “I’m the person you’re sending videos to,” helps make the practice less intimidating.
- Have the educators record a video introduction of themselves to send to the coach. This helps them to learn how to operate the tools in a low-pressure setting.
- Giving educators a simple video assignment. For example, having the educators introduce you to their classroom by walking around the room and talking about each area.
- Encouraging the educators to use the Robot in fun ways. It can be as simple as using the tools to record a group of the children dancing, or performing a skit. This helps to build a positive association with the tools.
To help ASaP coaches become comfortable using Reflectivity + Robot, they created an onboarding process by thinking about the preliminary skills coaches would need in order to use the tools. From how to operate the Robot to being more at ease while being recorded, the ASaP team shared the following process:
- Created How-To videos for their team about how to use Reflectivity + Robot to complete their work.
- Created tip sheets to supplement the How-To videos. Coaches could print off the tip sheets and take them with them on site visits.
- Scheduled monthly meetings where team leaders could model for the coaches best practices and how to use the tools.
- Held regular trainings where they partnered people together to work collaboratively to learn the new tools and achieve internal goals.