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Teachers

Structure and provide learning experiences that directly impact students' academic outcomes.

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Teacher effectiveness is crucial as California transitions to Common Core State Standards and focuses on building 21st-century skills for all students. Teaching is the factor that matters most in student achievement. (1) Recent studies suggest that teachers have a far greater impact on student achievement than any other single schooling factor.

QSF LogoResources

Tools

These tools are provided as resources to support implementation of the QSF. Their use is not intended as a requirement for schools and districts.

  • Cultural and Linguistic Differences: What Teachers Should Know External link opens in new window or tab. (Posted 12-Aug-2014)
    After completing this interactive/challenge-based module on Cultural and Linguistic Difference, you should be able to: examine how your own culture influences your teaching; describe what it means to provide culturally responsive instruction; recognize how linguistic diversity influences school outcomes for students; and understand the importance of family involvement in school. The Iris Center for Training Enhancements provides resources about evidence-based instructional and intervention practices into pre-service preparation and professional development programs.
  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    These standards, which set forth the expectations for current classroom teachers, were adopted by the Commission and approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction in October 2009.
  • Continuum of Teaching Practice External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    This tool is aligned with the CSTP and may be used by teachers for self-assessment and professional goal setting for improved practice.

Promising Practices

  • Top 10 Instructional Strategies for Struggling Students External link opens in new window or tab. (Posted 20-Aug-2014)
    This accessible article presents ten strategies teachers may be familiar with, succinctly explains how each strategy works with different kinds of learners, and offers suggestions to implement them sustainably school- or district-wide. These suggestions highlight some key information in the guidebook, "Teaching English Learners and Students with Learning Difficulties in an Inclusive Classroom: A Guidebook for Teachers" (WestEd, 2012).

Research

  • Resources for this element of the Quality Schooling Framework are currently under review and will be posted soon.

Excerpted from CDE’s External Linking Policy: The CDE is providing these external links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any external link does not imply endorsement by the CDE or any association with the sites' operators.

Definition

“It is useful to think of teaching as similar to not one but several other professions, combining the skills of business management, human relations, and theater arts.” (1)

Effective teachers are the most important resource for improving student learning. (2) Such teachers convey critical content, engage student interest, direct student learning, inspire curiosity, encourage critical thought, and guide group interaction.

Effective teachers possess and communicate a command of content knowledge and an understanding of how children learn at different stages. They have the ability to build and adapt the curriculum to address the needs of all students, learning from student work and using differentiated instructional strategies to address their needs. These teachers demonstrate a willingness to try out, enthusiastically implement, and judiciously modify instructional strategies. (3)

Teachers are most effective in helping students to learn and thrive when they themselves receive appropriate support, including:
  • A rigorous preparation program (4)
  • Numerous opportunities for continued professional learning once they become practicing teachers
  • Mentoring for new teachers and ongoing coaching for all teachers (5)
  • Quality professional development in subject-matter pedagogy and a culture of collegial relationships anchored in professional conversations (6)
  • Rigorous and respectful evaluation systems that provide frequent feedback on the quality and effectiveness of teachers’ instruction (7)
  • State policies that support high-quality teacher education credentialing and professional development (8)

Importance

The quality of the instruction students receive directly impacts their learning experiences and academic outcomes. Studies have found that students with highly effective teachers are months ahead of their counterparts. (1) For example, one study found that students who were taught for three years by teachers who implemented effective instructional practices were more likely to have met academic standards than their peers who did not consistently benefit from similarly effective instructional practices. (2)

Numerous studies have shown that students taught by effective teachers are:

  • Better adjusted to school and have more positive feelings about school. (3)
  • More likely to develop healthy social skills. (4)
  • More motivated and engaged in learning. (5)
  • More likely to achieve greater academic success than their peers taught by less experienced or skilled teachers. (6)

Characteristics

Effective teachers:

  • Design effective instruction by determining which strategies and tools will best address standards in their particular context.
  • Conduct periodic assessments and skillfully modify subsequent instruction based on an analysis of student performance results. (1)
  • Possess deep content knowledge, consider and build on students’ prior knowledge and other assets, and organize facts and material conceptually in order to help students gradually take control of their own learning. (2)
  • Participate in professional learning to continually enhance or extend their content knowledge, repertoire of instructional strategies, and understanding of the various needs of all of their students.
  • Are fully certified with a higher education major relevant to the courses they teach. (3)

The California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP) provide a guide to effective teaching practices. Those practices include:

  • Engaging and supporting all students in learning,
  • Creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning,
  • Understanding and organizing subject matter for student learning,
  • Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for all students, and
  • Assessing students for learning. (4)
The CSTP also suggest that a teacher should develop as a professional educator (5), which refers to teachers taking on school-, district-, and community-based work as well as classroom teaching. Some of these other roles include:
  • Resource Provider: helping colleagues by sharing instructional resources
  • Instructional Specialist: helping colleagues to execute effective teaching strategies
  • Curriculum Specialist: leading teachers in understanding content standards, creating curriculum, developing instructional lessons, and helping them to understand how various components of the curriculum fit together
  • Mentor: serving as an advisor and supporter for novice teachers in curriculum, instruction, and assessments
  • School Leader: serving on the school leadership team and supporting teacher and student interests on school initiatives; or serving on district task forces or committees
Questions: Quality Schooling Framework | QSF@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0836 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 12, 2017
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