|1. Content Pedagogy||The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.|
|2. Student Development||The teacher understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support a child's intellectual, social, and personal development.|
|3. Diverse Learners||The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.|
|4. Multiple Instructional Strategies||The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.|
|5. Motivation and Management||The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.|
|6. Communication and Technology||The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.|
|7. Planning||The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.|
|8. Assessment||The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.|
|9. Reflective Practice: Professional Growth||The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.|
|10. School and Community Involvement||The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.|
Teachers must demonstrate mastery of their disciplines. Teachers with a broad and deep understanding of content related to their discipline can draw from their knowledge to facilitate engaging and diverse experiences for students. Teachers must also continue their learning in their fields to introduce relevancy into their lessons.
Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is the hallmark of any British Literature class. The artifact below demonstrates a close reading of the novel as well as a mastery of writing with precise and concise thoughts.
Students must determine to learn about themselves, to explore their talents and gifts, to use these to aid others in their learning, and to aid others in society. Because these tasks do not apply directly to content, teachers must not believe that education is simply the memorization of information and the reporting of it verbatim. Instead, teachers must work with students to think critically as to interact with their talents. The content of the curriculum should be a vehicle for students to understand themselves, gain knowledge from past cultures, and think through the implications.
Adolescent development and psychology provides a scientific basis for much of the innovative educational strategies in recent years. The artifact below demonstrates a review of information regarding the authoritative teaching style.
Each student is different, as each individual in any given society is different. Teachers must view student differences as positive and beneficial to carrying out the diverse tasks that will improve standards of living and help foster community. Diversity is difficult in the fact that it is unpredictable per geography, per year, and per classroom. The first step to reach the wide diversity of children in a classroom is to enter the environment with an attitude of flexibility and willingness to work with any situation. Lesson plans can potentially account for diversity; however, the teachers cannot build a plan that covers all types of students. Each individual student has the right to human dignity and therefore the right to the best education that can be offered. The teacher must be willing and prepared to interact with students with this mindset.
Instructional strategies should be the method that a particular teacher can utilize to interact with a particular classroom of students. A classroom in a white, suburban American community should have far different strategies than that of a Chinese metropolitan community. The teacher should have the pedagogical skills to change the style of teaching in order to best teach the students. The pedagogy should model what the student is learning and show an appreciation for the students’ interests.
Teachers can make lessons relevant to students through getting to know their students’ interests and needs. The artifact below is a product of a learning experience that represents the process of designing instruction that incorporates a real student’s qualities in a full unit plan.
Teachers must adapt to student needs through the avenues of autonomy, mastery, and purpose as Daniel Pink discusses in Drive. Teachers must set in place structure that emphasizes the preservation of human dignity as well as general rules that promote the responsibility to give dignity to fellow students. However, these rules should not be considered comprehensive and flawless – especially across cultures and time. The classroom should be welcoming and comfortable for both the instructor and the students. Offensive behavior that degrades another individual should not be tolerated, and discipline should be carried out in a way that brings peace to both the victim and the offender. The level of offensiveness will most likely not be completely universal. The teacher should be knowledgeable of the society’s morals and ethics but also keep in mind universally norms.
One strategy for creating a safe and welcoming space for learning is for a teacher to design a classroom management plan. The artifact below is a classroom management plan that accounts for room arrangement, provides interventions for problem behaviors, and implements a positive behavior support system. The plan was designed collaboratively with a peer.
Education revolves around communication. Teachers must have strong pedagogical skills that enhance teacher communication of content with students in multiple modes. In the digital age, teachers must also meet students in the realm of online learning experiences and incorporation of personal devices. Teachers must model the 21st Century skills of collaboration, problem solving, and inquiry in ways that students can see and respond. Teachers must continue their own experiences with current technology and communication methods to bring learning into the everyday lives of students.
Teachers who can use technology for education offer students powerful new ways of learning. The artifact below demonstrates some tools that teachers might incorporate in their lessons to communicate content and enhance the classroom experience.
Teachers must plan for lessons. Lesson planning involves a backwards design that begins with standards and moves to instruction. Teachers must know their students and community so they can adapt lessons from class to class. After reflecting on a lesson, teachers must also be willing to change lessons from year to year. Teachers should plan in advance to ensure that resources are available for instruction and to promote flow in the course curriculum.
Planning for lessons is essential for learning to take place in the classroom. The artifact below showcases a collaboratively-built unit plan. The unit covers a longer period of time than does a lesson; three lessons were to be included in this sample unit plan, not counting time for formal assessments.
Teachers must ensure that students receive appropriate support in their learning. Assessing students through formal tests, quizzes, and portfolios offer one method of assessment that gives the teacher, student, and parent information about student progress. Teachers must also frequently check for understanding through informal methods such as discussion. Teachers must collect data as a part of the assessment.
Not only should teachers assess students while learning and after a unit is complete, teachers should also assess prior student knowledge to identify points that may need clarification. The artifact below comes from the above unit plan and demonstrates one method of collecting information from students prior to starting a unit.
Teachers may reflect instinctively, however teachers should identify times to engage in reflective practice. Reflection should involve identifying specific elements that made a lesson or interaction work well or need improvement. Teachers should also keep a record of solutions to problems that may be implemented the next day or the next year. Teachers should collaborate with colleagues and even students in reflection and improvement. In addition to reflection, teachers must seek out opportunities to grow professionally. Teachers might do this through research, listening to podcasts, or attending seminars in person or via the web.
One of the ways in which teachers might reflect is through creating a professional blog. The artifact below represents one such blog that details professional experiences and may double as a portfolio or an element of a portfolio.
Teachers must seek out parents as allies in their children’s education. If parents are capable of involvement, they should be encouraged to do so. A teacher can and should take steps to encourage the parents to include themselves in their children’s learning. A teacher does not have absolute authority so mutual respect should be sought from both parties. In addition, teachers must have an insider’s knowledge of both the school as a community and the neighborhoods where students live. A teacher that works to understand the factors that contribute to or take away from student learning will maximize their potential to create learning experiences in and out of the classroom.
In addition to creating ties with parents and communities, teachers should work alongside of their colleagues to improve the school community. The artifact below demonstrates membership and leadership in an educational community, a student affiliate for the National Council of Teachers of English.