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Utah Effective Teaching Standards

 


The Learner and Learning
Teaching begins with the learner. To ensure that each student learns new knowledge and skills, teachers must understand that learning and developmental patterns vary among individuals, that learners bring unique individual differences to the learning process, and that learners need supportive and safe learning environments to thrive.

Standard 1: Learner Development

The teacher understands cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical areas of student development.

The teacher:

    1. Creates developmentally appropriateDevelopmentally appropriate teaching practice includes responding to a child's social/emotional, physical, and cognitive development by basing teaching practices and decisions on theories of child development, individually identified strengths and needs of each child uncovered through authentic assessment, and the child's cultural background as defined by his community, family history, and family structure. and challenging learning experiences based on each student's strengths, interests and needs.
    2. Collaborates with families, colleagues and other professionals to promote student growth and development.

Standard 2: Learning Differences

The teacher understands individual learner differences and cultural and linguistic diversity.

The teacher:

    1. Understands individual learner differences and holds high expectations of students.
    2. Designs, adapts and delivers instruction to address each student's diverse learning strengths and needs.
    3. Allows students different ways to demonstrate learning sensitive to multiple experiences and diversity.
    4. Creates a learning culture that encourages individual learners to persevereThe ability to persevere is the ability to stay focused on a task or a learning goal even when it's difficult to master. Perseverance includes the learner's ability to monitor and evaluate their own progress and change course if necessary. and advance.
    5. Incorporates tools of language development into planning and instruction for English language learnersEnglish language learners are students who are not native speakers of English. Also referred to as ELs (English learners), ESL (English as a second language) students, and LEP (limited English proficiency) students., and supports development of English proficiency.

Standard 3: Learning Environments

The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learningCollaborative learning is a style of interaction between learners and between learners and teachers engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal., positive social interactionPositive social interactions are those that give the teacher opportunities to demonstrate caring, fairness, and respect. A teacher's ability to relate to students and to make positive, caring connections with them plays a significant role in cultivating a positive learning environment and promoting student achievement., active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

The teacher:

    1. Develops learning experiences that engage and support students as self-directed learnersSelf-directed learners are learners who take increasing responsibility for various decisions associated with their own learning. Self-directed learners are able to transfer learning, in terms of both knowledge and study skills, from one situation to another. They participate in activities such as self-guided reading, study groups, internships, electronic dialogues, and reflective writing activities. Effective teachers support learners to become increasingly responsible for their own learning. Teachers participate in dialogue with learners, secure resources, evaluate outcomes, and promote critical thinking. who internalize classroom routines, expectations and procedures.
    2. Collaborates with students to establish a positive learning climate of openness, respectful interactions, support, and inquiry.
    3. Uses a variety of classroom management strategies to effectively maintain a positive learning environmentPositive learning environments provide supportive atmospheres that sustain a caring community of learners in which academic and social goals are clear. The focus is placed on learning, not simply on "knowing" or on right and wrong answers..
    4. Equitably engages studentsTime on task is directly correlated with student achievement. On-task students are involved in their learning; thus, effective teachers seek ways to enhance student involvement in learning. Effective teachers involve all students in learning, encourage students to apply, interpret, and integrate new information into what they already know, relate content to what students are interested in, and support students to see the value in learning. in learning by organizing, allocating, and managing the resources of time, space, and attention.
    5. Extends the learning environment using technology, media, and local and global resources.
    6. Encourages students to use speaking, listening, reading, writing, analysis, synthesis, and decision-making Analysis, synthesis, and decision-making are higher-order thinking skills that give students the ability to think clearly in diverse situations. Mastery of thinking skills allows students to tackle higher-order learning tasks and to achieve critical understandings as they tackle life’s challenges. skills in various real-world contexts.

Instructional Practice
Effective instructional practice requires that teachers have a deep and flexible understanding of their content areas and be able to draw upon content knowledgeContent knowledge includes not only a particular set of information, but also the framework for organizing information and processes for working with it. as they work with learners to access information, apply knowledge in real world settings, and address meaningful issues. They must also understand and integrate assessmentAssessment is the productive process of monitoring, measuring, evaluating, documenting, reflecting on, and adjusting teaching and learning to ensure students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment systems need to include both formative and summative assessment processes, aligned with instructional and curricular goals and objectives. Formative assessment finding should be used as a continuous feedback loop to improve teaching and learning. Summative assessment results should be used to make final decisions about gains in knowledge and skills., planning, and instructional strategiesInstructional strategies are teaching activities, grounded in theory and designed to have specific effects and an extensive line of inquiry and research. They involve a sequence of steps or a number of related elements. They have an intended effect on student learning. in coordinated and engaging ways to assure learner mastery of the content.

Standard 4: Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplineStructures of the discipline are developed through systematic approach to creating models of inquiry in a particular field of study, usually including methods of scientific inquiry. The approach includes the idea that topics are evolving and not static. This allows for engagement in research and study toward further development of the discipline. This systematic approach creates an organization of ideas across many fields of study and enables a learner to become expert in one or more of the disciplines. .

The teacher:

    1. Knows the content of the discipline and conveys accurate information and concepts.
    2. Demonstrates an awareness of the Utah Core Standards and references it in short- and long-term planning.
    3. Engages studentsTime on task is directly correlated with student achievement. On-task students are involved in their learning; thus, effective teachers seek ways to enhance student involvement in learning. Effective teachers involve all students in learning, encourage students to apply, interpret, and integrate new information into what they already know, relate content to what students are interested in, and support students to see the value in learning. in applying methods of inquiryMethods of inquiry are the learning processes appropriate to particular content. In the inquiry process, students are active participants in the learning process helping to facilitate their own construction of new knowledge. Once the students' interests are engaged, the process of inquiry provides opportunities for students to exercise advanced thinking and problem-solving skills. and standards of evidenceStandards of evidence are the techniques and guidelines by which the information in a discipline is evaluated. of the discipline.
    4. Uses multiple representations of concepts that capture key ideas.
    5. Supports students in learning and using academic languageAcademic language, tied to specific subject area disciplines, captures – through vocabulary, grammar, and organizational strategies – the complex ideas, higher-order thinking processes, and abstract concepts of the discipline. It is the language used in classrooms, textbooks, and formal presentations in a subject area and differs in structure and vocabulary from everyday spoken English. accurately and meaningfully.

Standard 5: Assessment

The teacher uses multiple methods of assessmentAssessment is the productive process of monitoring, measuring, evaluating, documenting, reflecting on, and adjusting teaching and learning to ensure students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment systems need to include both formative and summative assessment processes, aligned with instructional and curricular goals and objectives. Formative assessment finding should be used as a continuous feedback loop to improve teaching and learning. Summative assessment results should be used to make final decisions about gains in knowledge and skills. to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, guide planning and instruction, and determine whether the outcomes described in content standards have been met.

The teacher:

    1. Designs or selects pre-assessmentsPre-assessment is the practice of determining what students already know so as not to cover material students have mastered, or use methods that would be ineffective for students. A pre-assessment can be a quiz, game, discussion, or other activity that asks students to answer some of the questions that would be used to evaluate their performance at the end of an upcoming short- or long-term learning activity. , formativeAssessment is a process used by teachers and learners that provides a continuous stream of evidence of learner growth, empowering teachers to adjust instruction and learners to adjust learning to improve student achievement. Formative assessment requires clear articulation and communication of intended instructional outcomes and criteria for success, ongoing descriptive feedback, the use of assessment evidence to make adjustments to teaching and learning, self- and peer-assessment that promote learner awareness of growth and needed improvement, and a partnership between teachers and learners that holds both parties accountable for learner achievement and success. , and summative assessmentsSummative assessment is the process of certifying learning at the culmination of a given period of time to evaluate the extent to which instructional objectives have been met. Examples of summative assessment include end-of-unit tests, final exams, semester exams, portfolios, capstone projects, performance demonstrations, state-mandated tests and required national accountability tests. in a variety of formats that match learning objectives and engages the learner in demonstrating knowledge and skills.
    2. Engages studentsTime on task is directly correlated with student achievement. On-task students are involved in their learning; thus, effective teachers seek ways to enhance student involvement in learning. Effective teachers involve all students in learning, encourage students to apply, interpret, and integrate new information into what they already know, relate content to what students are interested in, and support students to see the value in learning. in understanding and identifying the elements of quality work and provides them with timelyProviding timely feedback to students can make a significant difference in their achievement. If students receive feedback no more than a day after a test or homework assignment has been turned in, it will increase the window of opportunity for learning. Feedback is a research-based strategy that teachers, and students, can practice to improve their success. and descriptive feedbackDescriptive feedback means effectively communicating to students where they are doing well and where they need improvement. Effective educators use a variety of communication techniques to foster inquiry, collaboration, and provide accurate feedback in and beyond the classroom. to guide their progress in producing that work.
    3. Adjusts assessmentAssessment is the productive process of monitoring, measuring, evaluating, documenting, reflecting on, and adjusting teaching and learning to ensure students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment systems need to include both formative and summative assessment processes, aligned with instructional and curricular goals and objectives. Formative assessment finding should be used as a continuous feedback loop to improve teaching and learning. Summative assessment results should be used to make final decisions about gains in knowledge and skills. methods and makes appropriate accommodations for English language learnersEnglish language learners are students who are not native speakers of English. Also referred to as ELs (English learners), ESL (English as a second language) students, and LEP (limited English proficiency) students., students with disabilities, advanced students, and students who are not meeting learning goals.
    4. Uses dataLearner data are factual, evidentiary forms of information about individuals or groups of learners that are collected, documented, organized, and analyzed for the purpose of making decisions about teaching and learning. Examples of learner data include, but are not limited to 1) learner demographics and background information, 2) documented information about learning needs and prior performance, 3) learner class work, homework, and other formal and informal works produced by the learner, 4) progress charts, records and anecdotal teacher notes from formative assessments and/or classroom observations, 5) end-of-unit teacher-developed tests or summative performances and course grades, and 6) external test scores. to assess the effectiveness of instruction and to make adjustments in planning and instruction.
    5. Documents student progress and provides descriptive feedbackDescriptive feedback means effectively communicating to students where they are doing well and where they need improvement. Effective educators use a variety of communication techniques to foster inquiry, collaboration, and provide accurate feedback in and beyond the classroom. to students, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders in a variety of ways.
    6. Understands and practices appropriate and ethical assessmentAssessment is the productive process of monitoring, measuring, evaluating, documenting, reflecting on, and adjusting teaching and learning to ensure students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment systems need to include both formative and summative assessment processes, aligned with instructional and curricular goals and objectives. Formative assessment finding should be used as a continuous feedback loop to improve teaching and learning. Summative assessment results should be used to make final decisions about gains in knowledge and skills. principles and procedures.

Standard 6: Instructional Planning

The teacher plans instruction to support students in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, Utah Core Standards, instructional best practices, and the community context.

The teacher:

    1. Plans instruction based on the Utah Core Standards.
    2. Individually and collaboratively selects and creates learning experiences that are appropriate for reaching content standards relevant to learners, and based on principles of effective instructionPrinciples of effective instruction include high teacher expectations, proactive and supportive classrooms, opportunity to learn, curriculum alignment, coherent content, thoughtful discourse, scaffolding students’ ideas, task involvement, practice, application, and goal-oriented assessments..
    3. Differentiates instruction for individuals and groups of students by choosing appropriate strategies, accommodations, resources, materials, sequencing, technical tools, and demonstrations of learning.
    4. Creates opportunities for students to generate and evaluate new ideas, seek inventive solutions to problems, and create original work.
    5. Integrates cross-disciplinary skillsCross-disciplinary skills 1) allow learners to probe content deeply, 2) connect academic disciplines to one another, 3) can be applied to and may be used differently within various fields, and 4) should be taught explicitly in the context of a given content area. These skills include critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, effective oral and written communication, assessing and analyzing information, as well as adaptability, creativity, initiative, and entrepreneurialism. into instruction to purposefully engage learners in applying content knowledgeThe application of content knowledge requires that content knowledge be connected to the student’s existing knowledge, personal experience, cultural background, and learning profile..

Standard 7: Instructional Strategies

The teacher uses various instructional strategiesInstructional strategies are teaching activities, grounded in theory and designed to have specific effects and an extensive line of inquiry and research. They involve a sequence of steps or a number of related elements. They have an intended effect on student learning. to ensure that all learners develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and build skills to apply and extend knowledge in meaningful ways.

The teacher:

    1. Understands and practices a range of developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate instructional strategiesInstructional strategies are teaching activities, grounded in theory and designed to have specific effects and an extensive line of inquiry and research. They involve a sequence of steps or a number of related elements. They have an intended effect on student learning..
    2. Uses appropriate strategies and resources to adapt instruction and vary his or her role to meet the needs individual and groups of learners.
    3. Analyzes student errors and misconceptionsMisconceptions are preconceived notions, non-scientific beliefs, naive theories, mixed conceptions, or conceptual misunderstandings that students may have developed in relation to specific content concepts. What is especially concerning about misconceptions is that students continue to build knowledge on current understandings and possessing misconceptions can have negative impacts on learning. Effective teachers know the misconceptions common to their disciplines, identify them by evaluating student responses, and re-teach to facilitate a more accurate understanding of content. in order to redirect, focus, and deepen learning.
    4. Uses a variety of instructional strategiesInstructional strategies are teaching activities, grounded in theory and designed to have specific effects and an extensive line of inquiry and research. They involve a sequence of steps or a number of related elements. They have an intended effect on student learning. to support and expand each learners’ communication skills.
    5. Provides multiple opportunities for students to develop higher-orderHigher-order thinking skills are the skills learners need to perform challenging learning tasks as well as for thinking clearly in diverse situations. Higher-order thinking skills are application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation as defined in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Marzano and Kendal identify analysis (matching, classifying, analyzing errors, generalizing, and specifying) and knowledge utilization (decision making, problem solving, experimenting, and investigating) as higher-order thinking skills. Learners should be explicitly taught higher-order thinking skills and be given opportunities to apply them in learning tasks as well as real life situations beyond school. and meta-cognitive"Meta-cognitive" refers to the process by which learners think about their thinking, actively monitor their comprehension, employ and evaluate strategies, and reflect on their learning and set goals. Metacognition has been characterized as a habit of mind involving an internal dialog or "self-talk". skills.
    6. Provides opportunities for students to understand, question, and analyze information from multiple and diverse sources and perspectives to answer questions and solve real-world problems.
    7. Supports content and skill development by using multiple media and technology resources and knows how to evaluate these resources for quality, accuracy, and effectiveness.
    8. Uses a variety of questioning strategies to promote engagement and learning.

Professional Responsibility
Creating and supporting safe, productive learning environments that result in learners achieving at the highest levels is a teacher’s primary responsibility. To do this well, teachers must engage in meaningful, intensive professional learningProfessional learning is an ongoing, job-embedded process that supports transfer of newly-learned knowledge and skills to practice. Such learning also needs to be continuously evaluated and refined. by regularly examining practice through ongoing study, self-reflection, and collaborationCollaboration is a style of interaction between individuals engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal. Individuals who collaborate have equally valued personal or professional resources to contribute and they share decision-making authority and accountability for outcomes.. They must be aware of legal and ethical requirements and engage in the highest levels of professional and ethical conduct.

Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.

The teacher:

    1. Independently and in collaborationCollaboration is a style of interaction between individuals engaged in shared decision making as they work toward a common goal. Individuals who collaborate have equally valued personal or professional resources to contribute and they share decision-making authority and accountability for outcomes. with colleagues, uses a variety of dataLearner data are factual, evidentiary forms of information about individuals or groups of learners that are collected, documented, organized, and analyzed for the purpose of making decisions about teaching and learning. Examples of learner data include, but are not limited to 1) learner demographics and background information, 2) documented information about learning needs and prior performance, 3) learner class work, homework, and other formal and informal works produced by the learner, 4) progress charts, records and anecdotal teacher notes from formative assessments and/or classroom observations, 5) end-of-unit teacher-developed tests or summative performances and course grades, and 6) external test scores. to evaluate the outcomes of teaching and learning and to reflect on and adapt planning and practice.
    2. Actively seeks professional, community, and technological learning experiences within and outside the school as supports for reflection and problem-solving.
    3. Recognizes and reflects on personal and professional biasesProfessional biases are personal inclinations or preferences that may influence instructional, assessment, or interpersonal judgments from being balanced or even-handed. Professionalism includes an obligation for educators to examine their own biases and eliminate biased judgments in order to equitably meet the learning needs of all students. and accesses resources to deepen understanding of differences to build stronger relationships and create more relevant learning experiences.
    4. Actively investigates and considers new ideas that improve teaching and learning and draws on current education policy and research as sources of reflection.
    5. Develops a professional learningProfessional learning is an ongoing, job-embedded process that supports transfer of newly-learned knowledge and skills to practice. Such learning also needs to be continuously evaluated and refined. plan based on individual needs and the needs of learners, schools, and educational communities.

Standard 9: Leadership and Collaboration

The teacher is a leader who engages collaboratively with learners, families, colleagues, and community members to build a shared vision and supportive professional culture focused on student growth and success.

The teacher:

    1. Prepares for and participates actively as a team member in decision-making processes and building a shared culture that affects the school and larger educational community.
    2. Participates actively as part of the learning communityA learning community is a group of educators and/or students who share common educational goals and who are actively engaged in learning together and from each other. Such communities are effective in K-12 classrooms, collegial educator groups, and cohort-based university educator preparation programs. , sharing responsibility for decision-making and accountability for each student's learning, and giving and receiving feedback.
    3. Advocates When a teacher advocates within the educational setting, he or she speaks or writes in defense or support of a student, the school, or education in general in order to build support, bring positive attention, or raise awareness. for the learners, the school, the community, and the profession.
    4. Works with other school professionals to plan and jointly facilitate learning to meet diverse needs of learners.
    5. Engages in professional learningProfessional learning is an ongoing, job-embedded process that supports transfer of newly-learned knowledge and skills to practice. Such learning also needs to be continuously evaluated and refined. to enhance knowledge and skill, to contribute to the knowledge and skill of others and to work collaboratively to advance professional practice.

Standard 10: Professional and Ethical Behavior

The teacher demonstrates the highest standard of legal, moral, and ethical conduct as specified in Utah State Board Rule R277-515.

The teacher:

    1. Is responsible for compliance with federal and state laws, State Board of Education administrative rules, state assessmentAssessment is the productive process of monitoring, measuring, evaluating, documenting, reflecting on, and adjusting teaching and learning to ensure students reach high levels of achievement. Assessment systems need to include both formative and summative assessment processes, aligned with instructional and curricular goals and objectives. Formative assessment finding should be used as a continuous feedback loop to improve teaching and learning. Summative assessment results should be used to make final decisions about gains in knowledge and skills. policies, local board policies, and supervisory directives.
    2. Avoids actions which may adversely affect ability to perform assigned duties and carry out the responsibilities of the profession, including role-model responsibilities.
    3. Takes responsibility to understand professional requirements, to maintain a current Utah Educator License, and to complete license upgradesProfessional educators are responsible for knowing and complying with laws, rules, and procedures that apply to Utah Educator Licensure including the requirement for Level 1 licensed educators to meet the requirements for upgrade to a Level 2 license after three years of service. Details of upgrade procedures may be found at http://www.schools.utah.gov/cert/New-Teacher-Entry-Years-Enhancement.aspx., renewals, and additional requirements in a timely way.
    4. Maintains accurate instructional and non-instructional records.
    5. Maintains integrity and confidentiality in matters concerning student records and collegial consultation.
    6. Develops appropriate student-teacher relationships as defined in rule, law, and policy.
    7. Maintains professional demeanorProfessional demeanor is the manner in which an educator carries himself or herself in the classroom, school, community, and educational system. Conduct is a representation of how well an educator takes care of himself or herself, from aesthetics to language and behavior. Conduct also includes an educator's ability to initiate and maintain quality communication with all the parties involved in education: students, fellow teachers, school board, administration, and parents. and appearance as defined by their local education agency (LEA).

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