Read About Best Practices in Professional Expectations and Standards
This module explores professional expectations and standards for teachers. You will examine local, state, and national standards. You will also study professional expectations and long-range planning objectives.
Research has shown that student achievement is directly linked to teacher quality. State and national teaching standards provide a framework for teachers' professional growth that requires teachers to engage in ongoing professional development throughout their careers. Professional expectations and teaching standards vary from state to state and even from district to district. Sometimes these standards and expectations vary from campus to campus as well.
Sample Teaching Standards:
According to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Under No Child Left Behind, our nation has a commitment to ensuring that every student has a highly qualified teacher. These new policies will help us keep that promise so that every student can reach his or her potential.
Each state in our nation must raise and uphold standards and expectations for all teachers through mentoring, training, guidance, and support. As a new teacher, you must learn the expectations placed upon you as a professional educator. Carefully review your district and campus handbooks and ask for clarification on anything unclear.
There are multiple models for professional growth.
Teachers select learning objectives based on their individual needs as a teacher. Often this includes research in a professional book on a topic of choice.
Clinical supervision is an example of this process. Teachers observing one another and working together to improve teaching practices is an example of using this model to provide quality professional development.
District, state, and national organizations utilize teachers to help develop standards and curriculum. Working on long-term projects such as these results in a high level of professional learning and growth.
Training situations are a traditional model of staff development. You actually attend a conference, workshop, seminar, or lecture that provides you with sound information to implement in your classroom.
As professionals, we encounter situations that challenge us. Taking the time to research and examine new methods, assessments, or growth plans for students falls under the inquiry model of staff development.
National teaching organizations set expectations and standards for teaching professionals. Below are the names of organizations and summaries of their standards. Access these standards by using the links at the end of each section.
International Reading Association (IRA)
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
ASCD will develop educators' capacity to address complex problems.
ASCD will build a more vital and diverse community that shapes teaching and learning worldwide.
ASCD will influence policies and practices that support quality teaching, learning, and leadership.
ASCD will commit its resources wisely for maximum value to members and the profession.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Teachers are held to rigorous standards. Your state and district standards model themselves after the national standards in each area. The key to meeting these standards is ongoing professional growth and learning. This will provide you with the professional forum needed to keep up with current best-practice instruction.
You need to know and understand the evaluation system. Your district should provide training, but it is your responsibility to attend. Make sure your questions are answered completely.
Your evaluators will tell you what they look for. Every system is different, but there is a common thread. The goal of instruction is student learning, so all evaluation systems focus on this objective. Teachers are formally observed. Below are sections contained in one states evaluation system:
Many districts are moving to portfolio assessment along with a formal evaluation. Evaluators realize they cannot see all a teacher does throughout the year during a 45-minute visit. Administrators rely on teachers to produce documents that provide proof of predetermined activities. If you put together a portfolio, start to keep records at the beginning of the school year. As you collect examples of your achievements, place them in a folder for later addition to your portfolio. Below is a list of sections in a portfolio and examples of what goes into each section.
Change Is Constant
Many things will change in your career as a professional educator. What will not change is the importance of the role that you play. You are the role model in the classroom. You are held to high moral and ethical standards. Each day you have an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of students.