Professional Teaching Standards


Standard I: Teachers Demonstrate Leadership

Teachers lead in their classrooms.

Teachers demonstrate leadership by taking responsibility for the progress of all students to ensure that they graduate from high school, are globally competitive for work and postsecondary education, and are prepared for life in the 21st century. Teachers communicate this vision to their students. Using a variety of data sources, they organize, plan, and set goals that meet the needs of the individual student and the class.

Teachers use various types of assessment data during the school year to evaluate student progress and to make adjustments to the teaching and learning process. They establish a safe, orderly environment, and they create a culture that empowers students to collaborate and become lifelong learners.

Teachers demonstrate leadership in the school.

Teachers work collaboratively with school personnel to create a professional learning community. They analyze and use local, state, and national data to develop goals and strategies in the school improvement plan that enhance student learning and teacher working conditions. Teachers provide input in determining the school budget and in the selection of professional development that meets the needs of students and their own professional growth. They participate in the hiring process and collaborate with their colleagues to mentor and support teachers to improve the effectiveness of their departments or grade levels.

Teachers lead the teaching profession.

Teachers strive to improve the teaching profession. They contribute to the establishment of positive working conditions in their school. They actively participate in and advocate for decision-making structures in education and government that take advantage of the expertise of teachers. Teachers promote professional growth for all educators and collaborate with their colleagues to improve the profession.

Teachers advocate for schools and students.

Teachers advocate for positive change in policies and practices affecting student learning. They participate in the implementation of initiatives to improve the education of students.

Teachers demonstrate high ethical standards.

Teachers demonstrate ethical principles including honesty, integrity, fair treatment, and respect for others.


Standard II: Teachers Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students

Teachers provide an environment in which each child has a positive, nurturing relationship with caring adults.

Teachers encourage an environment that is inviting, respectful, supportive, inclusive, and flexible.

Teachers embrace diversity in the school community and in the world.

Teachers demonstrate their knowledge of the history of diverse cultures and their role in shaping global issues. They actively select materials and develop lessons that counteract stereotypes and incorporate histories and contributions of all cultures. Teachers recognize the influence of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other aspects of culture on a student’s development and personality. Teachers strive to understand how a student’s culture and background may influence his or her school performance. Teachers consider and incorporate different points of view in their instruction.

Teachers treat students as individuals.

Teachers maintain high expectations, including graduation from high school, for students of all backgrounds. Teachers appreciate the differences and value the contributions of each student in the learning environment by building positive, appropriate relationships.

Teachers adapt their teaching for the benefit of students with special needs.

Teachers collaborate with the range of support specialists to help meet the special needs of all students. Through inclusion and other models of effective practice, teachers engage students to ensure that their needs are met.

Teachers work collaboratively with the families and significant adults in the lives of their students.

Teachers recognize that educating children is a shared responsibility involving the school, parents or guardians, and the community. Teachers improve communication and collaboration between the school and the home and community in order to promote trust and understanding and build partnerships with all segments of the school community. Teachers seek solutions to overcome cultural and economic obstacles that may stand in the way of effective family and community involvement in the education of their students.


Standard III: Teachers Know the Content They Teach

Teachers align their instruction with the state standards and their districts curriculum.

In order to enhance the state standards, teachers investigate the content standards developed by professional organizations in their specialty area. They develop and apply strategies to make the curriculum rigorous and relevant for all students and provide a balanced curriculum that enhances literacy skills. Elementary teachers have explicit and thorough preparation in literacy instruction. Middle and high school teachers incorporate literacy instruction within the content area or discipline.

Teachers know the content appropriate to their teaching specialty.

Teachers bring a richness and depth of understanding to their classrooms by knowing their subjects beyond the content they are expected to teach and by directing students’ natural curiosity into an interest in learning. Elementary teachers have broad knowledge across disciplines. Middle school and high school teachers have depth in one or more specific content areas or disciplines.

Teachers recognize the interconnectedness of content areas/disciplines.

Teachers know the links and vertical alignment of the grade or subject they teach and the state standards. Teachers understand how the content they teach relates to other disciplines in order to deepen understanding and connect learning for students. Teachers promote global awareness and its relevance to the subjects they teach.

Teachers make instruction relevant to students.2

Teachers incorporate 21st century life skills deliberately, strategically, and broadly into their teaching. These skills include leadership, ethics, accountability, adaptability, personal productivity, personal responsibility, people skills, self-direction, and social responsibility. Teachers help their students understand the relationship between the state standards and 21st century content which includes global awareness; financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy; and health awareness.


Standard IV: Teachers Facilitate Learning for Their Students

Teachers know the ways in which learning takes place, and they know the appropriate levels of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of their students.

Teachers know how students think and learn. Teachers understand the influences that affect individual student learning (development, culture, language proficiency, etc.) and differentiate their instruction accordingly. Teachers keep abreast of evolving research about student learning. They adapt resources to address the strengths and weaknesses of their students.

Teachers plan instruction appropriate for their students.

Teachers collaborate with their colleagues and use a variety of data sources for short- and long-range planning based on the state standards. These plans reflect an understanding of how students learn.

Teachers engage students in the learning process. They understand that instructional plans must be constantly monitored and modified to enhance learning. Teachers make the curriculum responsive to cultural diversity and to individual learning needs.

Teachers use a variety of instructional methods.

Teachers choose the methods and techniques that are most effective in meeting the needs of their students as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps. Teachers employ a wide range of techniques including information and communication technology, learning styles, and differentiated instruction.

Teachers integrate and utilize technology in their instruction.

Teachers know when and how to use technology to maximize student learning. Teachers help students use technology to learn content, think critically, solve problems, discern reliability, use information, communicate, innovate, and collaborate.

Teachers help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Teachers encourage students to ask questions, think creatively, develop and test innovative ideas, synthesize knowledge and draw conclusions. They help students exercise and communicate sound reasoning; understand connections; make complex choices; and frame, analyze, and solve problems

Teachers help students work in teams and develop leadership qualities.

Teachers teach the importance of cooperation and collaboration. They organize learning teams in order to help students define roles, strengthen social ties, improve communication and collaborative skills, interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and develop leadership qualities.

Teachers communicate effectively.

Teachers communicate in ways that are clearly understood by their students. They are perceptive listeners and are able to communicate with students in a variety of ways, even when language is a barrier. Teachers help students articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively.

Teachers use a variety of methods to assess what each student has learned

Teachers use multiple indicators, including formative and summative assessments, to evaluate student progress and growth as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps.

Teachers provide opportunities, methods, feedback, and tools for students to assess themselves and each other. Teachers use 21st century assessment systems to inform instruction and demonstrate evidence of students’ 21st century knowledge, skills, performance, and dispositions.


Standard V: Teachers Reflect on Their Practice

Teachers analyze student learning.

Teachers think systematically and critically about student learning in their classrooms and schools: why learning happens and what can be done to improve achievement. Teachers collect and analyze student performance data to improve school and classroom effectiveness. They adapt their practice based on research and data to best meet the needs of students.

Teachers link professional growth to their professional goals.

Teachers participate in continued, high-quality professional development that reflects a global view of educational practices; includes 21st century skills and knowledge; aligns with the state board of education priorities; and meets the needs of students and their own professional growth.

Teachers function effectively in a complex, dynamic environment.

Understanding that change is constant, teachers actively investigate and consider new ideas that improve teaching and learning. They adapt their practice based on research and data to best meet the needs of their students.


If you have any questions regarding research or evaluation within our district, feel free to email Annette Pladevega, the Research & Evaluation Program Coordinator, at