Texas Teacher Standards
The State Board for Educator Certification creates standards for beginning educators. These standards are focused upon the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the required statewide public school curriculum. They reflect current research on the developmental stages and needs of children from Early Childhood (EC) through Grade 12.
1) Standard 1--Instructional Planning and Delivery. Teachers demonstrate their understanding of instructional planning and delivery by providing standards-based, data-driven, differentiated instruction that engages students, makes appropriate use of technology, and makes learning relevant for today's learners.
(A) Teachers design clear, well organized, sequential lessons that build on students' prior knowledge.
(i) Teachers develop lessons that build coherently toward objectives based on course content, curriculum scope and sequence, and expected student outcomes.
(ii) Teachers effectively communicate goals, expectations, and objectives to help all students reach high levels of achievement.
(iii) Teachers connect students' prior understanding and real-world experiences to new content and contexts, maximizing learning opportunities.
(B) Teachers design developmentally appropriate, standards-driven lessons that reflect evidence-based best practices.
(i) Teachers plan instruction that is developmentally appropriate, is standards driven, and motivates students to learn.
(ii) Teachers use a range of instructional strategies, appropriate to the content area, to make subject matter accessible to all students.
(iii) Teachers use and adapt resources, technologies, and standards-aligned instructional materials to promote student success in meeting learning goals.
(C) Teachers design lessons to meet the needs of diverse learners, adapting methods when appropriate.
(i) Teachers differentiate instruction, aligning methods and techniques to diverse student needs, including acceleration, remediation, and implementation of individual education plans.
(ii) Teachers plan student groupings, including pairings and individualized and small-group instruction, to facilitate student learning.
(iii) Teachers integrate the use of oral, written, graphic, kinesthetic, and/or tactile methods to teach key concepts.
(D) Teachers communicate clearly and accurately and engage students in a manner that encourages students' persistence and best efforts.
(i) Teachers ensure that the learning environment features a high degree of student engagement by facilitating discussion and student-centered activities as well as leading direct instruction.
(ii) Teachers validate each student's comments and questions, utilizing them to advance learning for all students.
(iii) Teachers encourage all students to overcome obstacles and remain persistent in the face of challenges, providing them with support in achieving their goals.
(E) Teachers promote complex, higher-order thinking, leading class discussions and activities that provide opportunities for deeper learning.
(i) Teachers set high expectations and create challenging learning experiences for students, encouraging them to apply disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems.
(ii) Teachers provide opportunities for students to engage in individual and collaborative critical thinking and problem solving.
(iii) Teachers incorporate technology that allows students to interact with the curriculum in more significant and effective ways, helping them reach mastery.
(F) Teachers consistently check for understanding, give immediate feedback, and make lesson adjustments as necessary.
(i) Teachers monitor and assess student progress to ensure that their lessons meet students' needs.
(ii) Teachers provide immediate feedback to students in order to reinforce their learning and ensure that they understand key concepts.
(iii) Teachers adjust content delivery in response to student progress through the use of developmentally appropriate strategies that maximize student engagement.
(2) Standard 2--Knowledge of Students and Student Learning. Teachers work to ensure high levels of learning, social-emotional development, and achievement outcomes for all students, taking into consideration each student's educational and developmental backgrounds and focusing on each student's needs.
(A) Teachers demonstrate the belief that all students have the potential to achieve at high levels and support all students in their pursuit of social-emotional learning and academic success.
(i) Teachers purposefully utilize learners' individual strengths as a basis for academic and social-emotional growth.
(ii) Teachers create a community of learners in an inclusive environment that views differences in learning and background as educational assets.
(iii) Teachers accept responsibility for the growth of all of their students, persisting in their efforts to ensure high levels of growth on the part of each learner.
(B) Teachers acquire, analyze, and use background information (familial, cultural, educational, linguistic, and developmental characteristics) to engage students in learning.
(i) Teachers connect learning, content, and expectations to students' prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests in meaningful contexts.
(ii) Teachers understand the unique qualities of students with exceptional needs, including disabilities and giftedness, and know how to effectively address these needs through instructional strategies and resources.
(iii) Teachers understand the role of language and culture in learning and know how to modify their practices to support language acquisition so that language is comprehensible and instruction is fully accessible.
(C) Teachers facilitate each student's learning by employing evidence-based practices and concepts related to learning and social-emotional development.
(i) Teachers understand how learning occurs and how learners develop, construct meaning, and acquire knowledge and skills.
(ii) Teachers identify readiness for learning and understand how development in one area may affect students' performance in other areas.
(iii) Teachers apply evidence-based strategies to address individual student learning needs and differences, adjust their instruction, and support the learning needs of each student.
(3) Standard 3--Content Knowledge and Expertise. Teachers exhibit a comprehensive understanding of their content, discipline, and related pedagogy as demonstrated through the quality of the design and execution of lessons and their ability to match objectives and activities to relevant state standards.
(A) Teachers understand the major concepts, key themes, multiple perspectives, assumptions, processes of inquiry, structure, and real-world applications of their grade-level and subject-area content.
(i) Teachers have expertise in how their content vertically and horizontally aligns with the grade-level/subject-area continuum, leading to an integrated curriculum across grade levels and content areas.
(ii) Teachers identify gaps in students' knowledge of subject matter and communicate with their leaders and colleagues to ensure that these gaps are adequately addressed across grade levels and subject areas.
(iii) Teachers keep current with developments, new content, new approaches, and changing methods of instructional delivery within their discipline.
(B) Teachers design and execute quality lessons that are consistent with the concepts of their specific discipline, are aligned to state standards, and demonstrate their content expertise.
(i) Teachers organize curriculum to facilitate student understanding of the subject matter.
(ii) Teachers understand, actively anticipate, and adapt instruction to address common misunderstandings and preconceptions.
(iii) Teachers promote literacy and the academic language within the discipline and make discipline-specific language accessible to all learners.
(C) Teachers demonstrate content-specific pedagogy that meets the needs of diverse learners, utilizing engaging instructional materials to connect prior content knowledge to new learning.
(i) Teachers teach both the key content knowledge and the key skills of the discipline.
(ii) Teachers make appropriate and authentic connections across disciplines, subjects, and students' real-world experiences.
(4) Standard 4--Learning Environment. Teachers interact with students in respectful ways at all times, maintaining a physically and emotionally safe, supportive learning environment that is characterized by efficient and effective routines, clear expectations for student behavior, and organization that maximizes student learning.
(A) Teachers create a mutually respectful, collaborative, and safe community of learners by using knowledge of students' development and backgrounds.
(i) Teachers embrace students' backgrounds and experiences as an asset in their learning environment.
(ii) Teachers maintain and facilitate respectful, supportive, positive, and productive interactions with and among students.
(iii) Teachers establish and sustain learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and respond to students' needs, strengths, and personal experiences.
(B) Teachers organize their classrooms in a safe and accessible manner that maximizes learning.
(i) Teachers arrange the physical environment to maximize student learning and to ensure that all students have access to resources.
(ii) Teachers create a physical classroom set-up that is flexible and accommodates the different learning needs of students.
(C) Teachers establish, implement, and communicate consistent routines for effective classroom management, including clear expectations for student behavior.
(i) Teachers implement behavior management systems to maintain an environment where all students can learn effectively.
(ii) Teachers maintain a strong culture of individual and group accountability for class expectations.
(iii) Teachers cultivate student ownership in developing classroom culture and norms.
(D) Teachers lead and maintain classrooms where students are actively engaged in learning as indicated by their level of motivation and on-task behavior.
(i) Teachers maintain a culture that is based on high expectations for student performance and encourages students to be self-motivated, taking responsibility for their own learning.
(ii) Teachers maximize instructional time, including managing transitions.
(iii) Teachers manage and facilitate groupings in order to maximize student collaboration, participation, and achievement.
(iv) Teachers communicate regularly, clearly, and appropriately with parents and families about student progress, providing detailed and constructive feedback and partnering with families in furthering their students' achievement goals.
(5) Standard 5--Data-Driven Practice. Teachers use formal and informal methods to assess student growth aligned to instructional goals and course objectives and regularly review and analyze multiple sources of data to measure student progress and adjust instructional strategies and content delivery as needed.
(A) Teachers implement both formal and informal methods of measuring student progress.
(i) Teachers gauge student progress and ensure student mastery of content knowledge and skills by providing assessments aligned to instructional objectives and outcomes that are accurate measures of student learning.
(ii) Teachers vary methods of assessing learning to accommodate students' learning needs, linguistic differences, and/or varying levels of background knowledge.
(B) Teachers set individual and group learning goals for students by using preliminary data and communicate these goals with students and families to ensure mutual understanding of expectations.
(i) Teachers develop learning plans and set academic as well as social-emotional learning goals for each student in response to previous outcomes from formal and informal assessments.
(ii) Teachers involve all students in self-assessment, goal setting, and monitoring progress.
(iii) Teachers communicate with students and families regularly about the importance of collecting data and monitoring progress of student outcomes, sharing timely and comprehensible feedback so they understand students' goals and progress.
(C) Teachers regularly collect, review, and analyze data to monitor student progress.
(i) Teachers analyze and review data in a timely, thorough, accurate, and appropriate manner, both individually and with colleagues, to monitor student learning.
(ii) Teachers combine results from different measures to develop a holistic picture of students' strengths and learning needs.
(D) Teachers utilize the data they collect and analyze to inform their instructional strategies and adjust short- and long-term plans accordingly.
(i) Teachers design instruction, change strategies, and differentiate their teaching practices to improve student learning based on assessment outcomes.
(ii) Teachers regularly compare their curriculum scope and sequence with student data to ensure they are on track and make adjustments as needed.
(6) Standard 6--Professional Practices and Responsibilities. Teachers consistently hold themselves to a high standard for individual development, pursue leadership opportunities, collaborate with other educational professionals, communicate regularly with stakeholders, maintain professional relationships, comply with all campus and school district policies, and conduct themselves ethically and with integrity.
(A) Teachers reflect on their teaching practice to improve their instructional effectiveness and engage in continuous professional learning to gain knowledge and skills and refine professional judgment.
(i) Teachers reflect on their own strengths and professional learning needs, using this information to develop action plans for improvement.
(ii) Teachers establish and strive to achieve professional goals to strengthen their instructional effectiveness and better meet students' needs.
(iii) Teachers engage in relevant, targeted professional learning opportunities that align with their professional growth goals and their students' academic and social-emotional needs.
(B) Teachers collaborate with their colleagues, are self-aware in their interpersonal interactions, and are open to constructive feedback from peers and administrators.
(i) Teachers seek out feedback from supervisors, coaches, and peers and take advantage of opportunities for job-embedded professional development.
(ii) Teachers actively participate in professional learning communities organized to improve instructional practices and student learning.
(C) Teachers seek out opportunities to lead students, other educators, and community members within and beyond their classrooms.
(i) Teachers clearly communicate the mission, vision, and goals of the school to students, colleagues, parents and families, and other community members.
(ii) Teachers seek to lead other adults on campus through professional learning communities, grade- or subject-level team leadership, committee membership, or other opportunities.
(D) Teachers model ethical and respectful behavior and demonstrate integrity in all situations.
(i) Teachers adhere to the educators' code of ethics in §247.2 of this title (relating to Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators), including following policies and procedures at their specific school placement(s).
(ii) Teachers communicate consistently, clearly, and respectfully with all members of the campus community, including students, parents and families, colleagues, administrators, and staff.
(iii) Teachers serve as advocates for their students, focusing attention on students' needs and concerns and maintaining thorough and accurate student records.