When Becca Devlin tries to engage all her students in her second-grade classroom at the Rocky Mountain Prep charter school, she has a lot of things on her mind.
"Part of your brain is focused on the lessons and the words that are coming out of your mouth and part of your brain is focused on does my handwriting look neat can they read this?" Devlin said. "Part of my brain is focused on is the equipment working right?"
Sara Carlson wants to help Devlin with that. She is the director of curriculum and instruction for Rocky Mountain Prep. Using a program created by a professional development organization called CT3, Carlson will coach Devlin in the classroom using a walkie talkie and small earpiece.
"So, my role is to be her angel on her shoulder," Carlson said.
Carlson wants to help Devlin manage the classroom, control behavior issues, and encourage positive actions.
"Getting another set of eyes to kind of give you both positive praise and some quick fixes to make it stronger is really helpful," Devlin said.
CT3 teaches this method at Rocky Mountain Prep and at 350 schools around the country. It is part of their "No Nonsense Nurturer Method. The idea is to give teachers better tools to control the classroom so there is more time for effective learning.
"A lot of teachers aren't trained in classroom management or they get a very surface, theoretical training maybe from a book," Leah Pearson, CT3 Associate, said. "What we know is teachers burn out in three-to-five years especially in urban settings."
Carlson says the key is helping teachers at the exact time they need it.
"Making sure that it's in the moment is important because I get to see what she is seeing. I get to feel what she is feeling," Carlson said.
Devlin, a second-year teacher, says it gives her confidence.
"It starts to train your muscle memory so when you have to kind of repeat what's being said and get in the habit of actually using that language in the moment," Devlin said.
Pearson says this technique is not just for younger teachers. She says it can help all teachers be more efficient in the classroom.
"The No-Nonsense Nurturer Method gives even seasoned teachers ways to communicate precise directions," Pearson said.
Devlin says it's making her a better teacher.
"It does help you feel stronger whether you're new or having been working at it for a long time," Devlin said. "There's always something you could be doing better."