The Importance of Coaching TAs with the ITITA Model Pilot Project

Lorrie and Kayla in virtual meeting

Infant-Toddler Technical Assistant (TA) Specialists Lorrie Looper and Kayla Absher speak about the importance of a technical assistant having a coach, how the intensive weekly TA of the ITITA Model Pilot project has made a difference, how professional development has helped them as TAs and what’s been most impactful for the teachers and directors they serve for this project.

What is ITITA?

The Infant Toddler Intensive Technical Assistance (ITITA) Model Pilot is a three-year project funded by the N.C. Department of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) from September 2018 through September 2021. The primary goals of the model pilot project are to train and support technical assistance (TA) specialists to become ‘Master TAs.’ In addition, the project will determine if intensive, long-term support, based on strong relationships can sustain change and growth in early childhood providers. TAs are focusing on improving teacher-child interactions and leadership skills in directors, which in turn will provide better outcomes for children and families. This project is currently being piloted at Randolph County Partnership for Children, The Children’s Council of Watauga County and Child Care Resource Center in Region 10. Learn more about ITITA here.

Meet the ITITA Specialists

Lorrie Looper is an Infant-Toddler Specialist with the Infant-Toddler T/A Model Pilot Project. She has served in this role at The Children’s Council in Watauga County, N.C. since 2019. Lorrie has been involved in the early childhood field in a variety of roles for almost 40 years as a classroom teacher, child care program director, resource and referral specialist, literacy coordinator, technical assistance provider, mentor, evaluator and coach for early educators. Lorrie holds a bachelor’s degree in Birth-Kindergarten and a master’s degree in early childhood education. As part of the North Carolina team of Infant-Toddler T/A practitioners, Lorrie works diligently to both build and provide a strong support system for the teachers she serves. She is passionate about the work she does to improve the lives and early education experiences of our very youngest children in the hopes that every child she impacts will have a successful start in life.

Kayla Absher is an Infant-Toddler Specialist with the Infant-Toddler T/A Model Pilot Project. She has been working on this project for two years through The Children’s Council in Watauga County. Since graduating from college in 2016, Kayla has held various early childhood teaching positions that led her to working on this project. Kayla is passionate about helping children grow and develop in their own unique ways.

Stay tuned for our next video blog with ITITA Specialists Scarlet and Joy!