Teachers and coaches share their experiences with LENA Grow


Teachers and coaches have an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience with LENA Grow when they apply for LENA Certification. Here, we’ve collected some of their comments to give you an inside look at what it’s like to participate in the professional development program for early childhood teachers:

LENA Grow is experiential learning for teachers.

“One teacher’s goal was to get a trophy in the afternoon hours. When she did, she was so excited that she gave me a bear hug and a high five with a ‘WE DID IT!’ shout!”

-Catherine Stefano | Coach | Opportunity Inc. | Florida

“This program was way more hands-on than other professional development programs we’ve done. Usually PD is just someone talking to us and telling us things that they know. But with LENA Grow, the teachers got to be more a part of it; we got to be really involved.”

-Ashley Ramos | Teacher | Sequatchie Valley Head Start | Tennessee

“A parent was picking up their child, and the child started talking to me. I immediately started answering what I thought they were saying. The child continued, and I continued, using a lot of expressions along with conversation. This went on for five minutes. After we were done, the parent just looked at me in awe and said ‘Thank you so much.’ It was a great moment for the child, parent, and a coaching experience for the teachers.”

-Deborah Polack | Coach | Wheeler Pines | Georgia

LENA Grow supports parent-teacher partnerships.

“At the end of LENA Grow, we scheduled parent conferences. I had a chance to speak with the parents on an individual basis to discuss areas of improvement that their child had conquered throughout the program and ways that they could ensure these strategies continued at home. All of the parents were so pleased to see the data that coincides with all the hard work we have been applying in our program. The teachers helped facilitate these meetings so we could show how curriculum and conversation are hand- in-hand practices we utilize in our teaching strategies.”

-Homeka Le’Chay Williams | Coach | Kids R Kids Alpharetta | Georgia

“The teachers shared that the parents were excited when they received the documentation of their children during the LENA Day. I told the teachers to make sure they were sharing what their child was doing or saying in order to get such high scores.”

-Anonymous Coach
LENA Grow teachers sit on the floor of a classroom reading with infants.

LENA Grow equips teachers with practical tools for increasing interaction.

“Now that the program has finished, I will continue to use the Talking Tips as they are a great reference in the classroom. I found Talking Tips #2, 6, 10, and 11 especially helpful in my daily interactions. These tips remind me to focus on the child’s interest to increase turns.”

-Sandra Vaughn | Teacher | 4C Early Head Start at Palm Plaza | Florida

“During LENA Grow, I learned to give each child more time to respond in a way they are able to instead of assuming what they are thinking. Now, I will be more “tuned In” to what my children are looking at, doing and talking about instead of just what is on my agenda.”

-Melissa R. Shannon | Teacher | LIFESPAN Circle School | North Carolina

LENA Grow helps teachers set and meet targeted goals for their classroom.

“We had a teacher that was struggling to get a star. When she finally did get one she was so happy that she cried. It was a rewarding moment because she worked so hard to reach her personal goal for herself.”

-Fallon Locher | Coach | Druid Hills Child Development | Georgia

“One of my teachers wanted to ensure that one of her nonverbal students would respond to her asking an open-ended question. The teacher stated that she used all 14 Talking Tips while the child was in the block area. To her surprise, it worked! The teacher was so excited that she shared her experience with her co-teacher and later called me to share the awesome news.”

-Anonymous Coach


The LENA Team is a dedicated group of professionals who are passionate about increasing awareness of the importance of early interactive talk. We are statisticians, speech-language pathologists, curriculum specialists, engineers and linguists.

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