A self-improvement guide: For teachers by teachers

I just got my hands on an absolutely wonderful resource courtesy of Kathy Wiebke, NBCT and Executive Director of the Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University.  Using the InTASC [Insterstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium] Model Core Teaching Standards, developed by the CCSSO, which are used in the accreditation of most public and many private teacher education programs, a team of 10 National Board Certified teachers created a document called: Standards Continuum Guide for Reflective Teaching Practice. The document is designed to help teachers continuously and systematically reflect on their teaching and determine the specific areas in which they need further professional growth.

The document is intended primarily for use by teachers for self-assessment, but may also be used as a teacher-designed tool for “mentors, coaches, and administrators” to aid in developing meaningful and standards-based professional development plans. Professional development coordinators and teacher educators should also find this publication an extremely useful tool, especially for new teachers. The authors stress that the Guide “is not designed as a teacher evaluation instrument, but can support the teacher evaluation process as a reflective and developmental guide for professional growth” (8).

Each of the InTASC standards has several indicators used to describe or assess it. The NBCT team created reflective questions for each indicator that would help teachers look at their own work in light of the standards. The Guide also includes sample scenarios of how it might be used by a teacher alone or with the help of others to assess a specific lesson. It is an impressive undertaking, and one for which all of us in education should be grateful.

This Guide is very similar to the TeacherSolutions projects done here at Teacher Leader Network, and it captures the spirit of teacherprenuerism. The Guide is thoughtful, practical, and timely. Not surprising since it came from the same organization that gave us one of the best documentaries about teaching ever: Mitchell 20. The Standards Continuum Guide for Reflective Teaching Practice is exactly the type of work we as a profession should be generating and putting forward with the authority of highly accomplished practitioners of our craft.

For copies or more information contact Arizona K12 Center: info@azk12.org

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