Professional Standards for Teachers (PST)

The Professional Standards for Teachers (PSTs), passed by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2014, define the pedagogical and other professional knowledge and skills required of all educators. All of our courses and assignments now link to the new standards, which are aligned to the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Framework, used for the evaluation of all Massachusetts educators. This alignment ensures that candidates complete their preparation program with the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective as beginning educators and on which teaching continues to improve with years of practice.

Level of Practice and Expectation: As a teacher candidate, you can expect different levels of exposure and practice for the various standards and indicators. Each PST and indicator is marked “Introduction," “Practice," or “Demonstrate.” Below is the description of what each level means:

  • Introduction (I): candidates show understanding through coursework and/or in field-based experiences.
  • Practice (P): Candidates have opportunities to practice, to be observed, and to receive feedback through course work and/or in field-based experiences.
  • Demonstrate (D): Candidates consistently demonstrate competency through course work and in field based experiences as measured by the teacher performance assessment.

Standards and Indicators

  • Standard 1: Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment

    Standard 1: Promotes the learning and growth of all students by providing high quality and coherent instruction, designing and administering authentic and meaningful student assessments, analyzing student performance and growth data, using this data to improve instruction, providing students with constructive feedback on an ongoing basis, and continuously refining learning objectives.  (Level of practice I, P, or D shown after each indicator below)

    (a) Curriculum and planning: Knows the subject matter well, has a good grasp of child development and how students learn, and designs effective and rigorous standards-based units of instruction consisting of well-structured lessons with measurable outcomes. (D)

    (b) Assessment indicator: Uses a variety of informal and formal methods of assessment to measure student learning, growth, and understanding, develop differentiated and enhanced learning experiences, and improve future instruction. (D)

    (c) Analysis indicator: Analyzes data from assessments, draws conclusions, and shares them appropriately. (P)

    SEI Indicator (a) Uses instructional planning, materials, and student engagement approaches that support students of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, strengths, and challenges. (D)

    SEI Indicator (c) Demonstrates knowledge of the difference between social and academic language and the importance of this difference in planning, differentiating and delivering effective instruction for English language learners at various levels of English language proficiency and literacy. (D)

  • Standard 2: Teaching All Students

    Standard 2: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through instructional practices that establish high expectations, create a safe and effective classroom environment, and demonstrate cultural proficiency. (Level of practice I, P, or D shown after each indicator below)

    (a) Instruction indicator: Uses instructional practices that reflect high expectations regarding content and quality of effort and work, engage all students, and are personalized to accommodate diverse learning styles, needs, interests, and levels of readiness. (D)

    (b) Learning Environment indicator: Creates and maintains a safe and collaborative learning environment that values diversity and motivates students to take academic risks, challenge themselves, and claim ownership of their learning. (D)

    (c) Cultural Proficiency indicator: Actively creates and maintains an environment in which students' diverse backgrounds, identities, strengths, and challenges are respected. (D)

    (d) Expectations indicator: Plans and implements lessons that set clear and high expectations and make knowledge accessible for all students. (D)

    (e) Social and Emotional Learning Indicator: Employs a variety of strategies to assist students to develop social emotional-competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.  (P)

    (f) Classroom Management Indicator: Employs a variety of classroom management strategies, and establishes and maintains effective routines and procedures that promote positive student behavior. (D)

    SEI Indicator (b) Uses effective strategies and techniques for making content accessible to English language learners. (D)

    SEI Indicator (d) Creates and maintains a safe and collaborative learning environment that values diversity and motivates students to meet high standards of conduct, effort and performance. (D)

  • Standard 3: Family and Community Engagement

    Standard 3: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through effective partnerships with families, caregivers, community members, and organizations. (Level of practice I, P, or D shown after each indicator below)

    (a) Engagement indicator: Welcomes and encourages every family to become active participants in the classroom and school community. (P)

    (b) Collaboration indicator: Collaborates with families and communities to create and implement strategies for supporting student learning and development both at home and at school. (P)

    SEI Indicator (e) Collaborates with families, recognizing the significance of native language and culture to create and implement strategies for supporting student learning and development both at home and at school. (P)

  • Standard 4: Professional Culture

    Standard 4: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through ethical, culturally proficient, skilled, and collaborative practice. (Level of practice I, P, or D shown after each indicator below)

    (a) Reflection indicator: Demonstrates the capacity to reflect on and improve the educator's own practice, using informal means as well as meetings with teams and work groups to gather information, analyze data, examine issues, set meaningful goals, and develop new approaches in order to improve teaching and learning. (D)

    (b) Professional Growth indicator: Actively pursues professional development and learning opportunities to improve quality of practice or build the expertise and experience to assume different instructional and leadership roles. (I)

    (c) Collaboration indicator: Collaborates effectively with colleagues on a wide range of tasks. (P)

    (d) Decision-making indicator: Becomes involved in school-wide decision-making, and takes an active role in school improvement planning. (I)

    (e) Shared Responsibility indicator: Shares responsibility for the performance of all students within the school. (I)

    (f) Professional Responsibilities indicator: Is ethical and reliable, and meets routine responsibilities consistently (D)

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