Striving for Success: Tips and Standards for Improving your Practice
Standards for accomplished teaching
Accomplished teaching is difficult to define and even more difficult to achieve. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has sought to recognize and reward quality teaching in America through a variety of professional standards and certifications for teaching professionals.
Although teachers new to the profession are not eligible to pursue National Board Certification, all teachers should be aware of the FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS OF ACCOMPLISHED TEACHING developed by the National Board. By incorporating the five core propositions into your practice, you will assure that you are doing your best to enhance student learning.
THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS OF ACCOMPLISHED TEACHING:
What teachers should know and be able to do
1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects.
3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
5. Teachers are members of learning communities.
As you prepare and reflect daily, try to keep the 5 core propositions in mind. Ask yourself the following questions...
Questions related to Standard 1:
- How did I demonstrate my commitment to students and their learning?
- What can I do to improve my effectiveness with individual students?
- Am I diagnosing individual student strengths and weaknesses and using that knowledge to alter my practice?
Questions related to Standard 2:
- What content areas am I comfortable teaching? What content areas need review prior to further lessons?
- Do students understand the content? How do I know?
- Does my pedagogy improve or hinder student understanding of content?
- Is there a better way to teach this particular lesson? Have I consulted with other professionals or professional resources to find out?
Questions related to Standard 3:
- How do I assess student learning? Are my assessments systematic and comprehensive? Do they involve multiple forms of assessment and evidence of student learning?
- Do I know if every student has met state, local, and personal expectations for the content I have been teaching?
Questions related to Standard 4:
- How am I changing my teaching to assure more effective learning?
- What can I do better or differently next time to be more effective?
Questions related to Standard 5:
- How do I share with and learn from other professionals?
- How do I interact with other professionals to improve student learning in my school?
- How to I work with community members to foster my own knowledge as well as the knowledge of my students?
Many of these are tough questions. Some are impossible for a new teacher to even contemplate answering. But remember, the 5 Core Propositions are intended to be guidelines for your entire career. That's why National Board Certification is only offered to those who have at least three years of teaching experience. However, if you keep the 5 core propositions in mind, you will have an immediate framework to improve your skills as a classroom professional.
New teachers should also review the NBPTS standards that are relevant to their individual grade-level and curricular duties. These standards can be obtained from NBPTS at the following website: www.nbpts.org