Teachers play a new professional role as facilitators of education to assure that every student has the opportunity for success in life and in work in this global society. These professional teaching standards are the basis for teacher preparation, assessment of teacher practice and professional development. Professional teaching standards provide a common language that describes what teacher needs to know and be able to do. The curriculum for West Virginia higher education teacher preparation programs that lead to certification should reflect, and be aligned to, these teaching standards.
Professional Teaching Standards:
These professional teaching standards provide the expectation that every West Virginia teacher will demonstrate expertise in five broad areas that are the basis for what teachers must know and be able to do:
· Curriculum and Planning
· The Learner and the Learning Environment
· Professional responsibilities for self-renewal
· Professional responsibilities for school and community
Standard 1: Curriculum and Planning
The teacher displays deep and extensive knowledge of the core content skills and tools and designs instructional experiences that move beyond a focus on basic competency in the subject to include, as appropriate, the integration of 21st century interdisciplinary themes of global awareness, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy, civic literacy and health literacy. Knowledge of content is absolutely necessary for good teaching, but it must be combined with an understanding of the complex and sophisticated relationships within the content, and must be made relevant to the learner. The teacher designs instruction that is aligned with the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives and uses a standards-based approach to instruction supported by a variety of instructional resources that may include textbooks. Information media and technology tools are frequently incorporated into lesson design and teaching strategies are supported by a variety of technologies that promote self-directed learning, problem solving and collaboration. A balanced instructional assessment program is designed to assist students to achieve mastery of the content and depth of knowledge of the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives. The teacher uses his/her knowledge of content, process and development of 21st century learning skills to move beyond being a provider of knowledge to being a facilitator of learning. Experiences are created to advance student learning and systems thinking through processes such as critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving that encourage creativity, innovation and self-direction.
Function 1A: Core Content – The teacher has a deep knowledge of the content and its inter-relatedness within and across the disciplines and can move beyond basic content competency to assure student mastery of skills necessary for success in life and work.
Function 1B: Pedagogy – The teacher has a deep knowledge of the art and science of teaching in his/her specific content and can facilitate experiences that advance creativity, innovation and problem-solving.
Function 1C: Setting Goals and Objectives for Learning –The teacher uses a standards-based approach to instruction aligned with the state and local curriculum and sets instructional goals and objectives that describe what students will learn.
Function 1D: Designing Instruction – The teacher designs instruction that engages student in meaningful instructional activities that support the WV Content Standards and Objectives and that result in intentional student learning.
Function 1E: Student Assessments – The teacher uses a balanced approach to assure both assessment of learning and assessment for learning to provide both teacher and students information to guide future learning.
Standard 2: The Learner and the Learning Environment
The teacher demonstrates knowledge of the underlying principles of how students develop and learn and creates an environment that supports the learning of all students. The teacher sets high expectations based on a conceptual understanding of what is developmentally appropriate for all students. The teacher establishes a learning culture that allows all students to be successful while respecting their differences in learning styles, socio-economic, cultural and developmental characteristics. That respect for diversity is apparent in the design of the learning environment – the activities and tasks, the materials and the student groupings—to assure student learning. The learning environment is characterized by effective classroom procedures, the appropriate use of technology and efficient management of behaviors and physical space. Students’ misconceptions and misunderstanding of concepts are addressed in the lesson design to assure that the appropriate next steps in learning are taken. Students are encouraged to collaborate and to assume responsibility for their positive interaction in the learning environment.
Function 2A: Understanding intellectual/cognitive, social, and emotional development – The teacher’s understanding of the unique characteristics of the learner is evidenced in the design of learning activities which are developmentally appropriate and differentiated to engage all students in the learning process.
Function 2B: Creating an environment of respect and rapport – The teachers show their respect for students by having high expectations, providing management frameworks that clearly define roles and procedures, using respectful language, communicating interest in students as individuals and encouraging student collaboration.
Function 2C: Establishing a culture for learning – The teacher establishes a culture in the learning environment that is focused on learning and that reflects the importance of the work undertaken by both students and the teacher.
Function 2D: Implementing classroom procedures – The teacher assures that rules and procedures are in place for a smoothly functioning learning environment evidenced by the efficient use of time and resources.
Function 2E: Managing student behaviors – The teacher collaborates with students to establish norms of behavior for the learning environment that assures a focus on learning.
Function 2F: Organizing the learning environment – The teacher assures that the physical or virtual learning environment is safe, and that there is maximum flexibility in the use of physical space in a physical learning environment.
Standard 3: Teaching
The teacher displays a deep knowledge of content that, when combined with the knowledge of teaching and knowledge of the learner and the learning environment, enables the development of instructional experiences that create and support the best possible opportunities for students to learn. The instructional delivery methods and tools are appropriate for the type of learning target and the teacher facilitates a challenging and active learning environment and encourages students to make decisions regarding their own learning. The teacher selects questioning, discussion, pacing, and grouping techniques that engage all students and elicit clear evidence of their learning.
The teacher engages in the instructional cycle of planning, instructing, assessing and adjusting based on data. The teacher extracts data from ongoing formative/classroom assessments to inform and adjust instruction for intervention, enrichment, or the next acquisition lesson. The teacher uses summative assessment data to measure student progress toward mastery of the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives. The teacher provides timely, specific descriptive feedback through classroom assessment for learning practices, thus enabling students to self-assess and set their own goals. Excitement about learning is not only demonstrated in the instruction, but also by the engagement of the students in learning activities that are relevant and based on individual needs and learning characteristics.
Function 3A: Importance of Content – The teacher utilizes content knowledge to focus learning targets that create meaningful learning experiences for students.
Function 3B: Communicating with Students – The teacher creates and maintains a positive, supportive classroom climate and communicates with students in a variety of ways.
Function 3C: Questioning and Discussion Techniques – The teacher practices quality questioning techniques and engages students in discussion.
Function 3D: Student Engagement – The teacher delivers instruction to motivate and engage students in a deep understanding of the content.
Function 3E: Use of Assessments in Instruction – The teacher uses both classroom summative and formative assessment as a balanced approach to instructional decision making.
Function 3F: Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness – The teacher adjusts instruction based on the needs of the students and in response to “teachable moments.”
Standard 4: Professional Responsibilities for Self-Renewal
The teacher persistently and critically examines their practice through a continuous cycle of self‐improvement focused on how they learn, teach and work in a global and digital society. The teacher is responsible for engaging in professional, collaborative self‐renewal in which colleagues, as critical friends, examine each other’s practice in order to adjust instruction and practice based on analysis of a variety of data. Participation in this form of professional dialog enables teachers to discover better practice, be supported by colleagues in engaging in that practice, and significantly contribute to the learning of others as members of a professional learning community. Teachers contribute to the teaching profession through the implementation of practices that improve teaching and learning.
Function 4A: Professional Learning – The teacher engages in professional learning in preparation to critically examine his/her professional practice and to engage in a continuous cycle of self-improvements focused on how to learn, teach and work in a global and digital society.
Function 4B: Professional Collaborative Practice– The teacher is actively engaged in learning with colleagues in a way that models collaboration and collegiality to improve his/her practice for the purpose of addressing questions/issues related to the school and student achievement.
Function 4C: Reflection on Practice – The teacher engages in continuous critical examination of his/her teaching practice and makes adjustments based on data.
Function 4D: Professional Contribution – The teacher contributes to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession through investigation of new ideas that improve teaching practice and learning for students.
Standard 5: Professional Responsibilities for School and Community
The teacher’s primary responsibility is to create and support a learning environment that allows students to achieve at high levels; however, every teacher also has a primary responsibility for the improvement of the school in which they work. The teacher uses the strategic plan as a guide to help sustain the mission and continuous improvement of the school and thereby contributes to shaping a cohesive, learner-centered culture. Through a commitment to group accountability, the teacher helps develop and maintain student support, management and assessment systems that enable learning to take place. A teacher’s professional responsibilities also include working collaboratively with colleagues, parents, guardians and adults significant to students, on activities that connect school, families and the larger community. The teacher demonstrates leadership by contributing to positive changes in policy and practice that affect student learning and by modeling ethical behavior.
Function 5A: School Mission – The teacher works collaboratively with the principal and colleagues to develop and support the school mission.
Function 5B: School-wide Activities – The teacher participates in the development and implementation of school-wide initiatives in curriculum, instruction and assessment.
Function 5C: Learner-Centered Culture – The teacher participates in activities and model behaviors that build and sustain a learner-centered culture.
Function 5D: Student Support Systems – The teacher works collaboratively with the principal and colleagues to develop and sustain student support systems that enable learning to occur.
Function 5E: Student Management Systems – The teacher works collaboratively with the school principal, colleagues and students to develop and sustain management systems that support and extend learning.
Function 5F: School, Family and Community Connections – The teacher works collaboratively with the principal, colleagues, parents, students and the community to develop and sustain school activities that make meaningful connections between the school and families and the community.
Function 5G: Strategic Planning/Continuous Improvement – The teacher participates in the development and implementation of the school’s strategic planning and continuous improvement.
Function 5H: Teacher Leadership – The teacher demonstrates leadership by implementing classroom and school initiatives that improve education as well as by making positive changes in policy and practice that affect student learning.
Function 5I: Ethical Standards – The teacher models the ethical standards expected for the profession in the learning environment and in the community