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.
- creates developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences based on individual student's strengths, interests, and needs.
- 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.
- ensures inclusive learning environments that allow each student to reach learning goals.
- designs, adapts, and delivers instruction to address each student’s diverse learning strengths and needs.
- uses instructional strategies that are sensitive to the multiple experiences and diversity of learners and that allow for different ways of demonstrating learning.
- brings multiple perspectives to the learning context that allow each student to persevere, advance, and accelerate learning.
- incorporates tools of language development into planning and instruction, including strategies for development of English proficiency.
Standard 3: Learning Environments
The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encouraging positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.
- develops learning experiences that engage and support students as self-directed learners who internalize classroom routines, expectations, and procedures.
- collaborates with students to establish a positive learning climate of openness, respectful interactions, support, and inquiry.
- uses a variety of classroom management strategies to effectively maintain a positive learning environment.
- equitably engages students in learning by organizing, allocating, and managing the resources of time, space, and attention.
- extends the learning environment using technology, media, and local and global resources.
- encourages students to use speaking, listening, reading, writing, analysis, synthesis, and decision-making skills in various real-world contexts.
Effective instructional practice requires that teachers have a deep and flexible understanding of their content areas and are able to draw upon content knowledge as they work with learners to access information, apply knowledge in real world settings, and address meaningful issues. They must also understand and integrate assessment, planning, and instructional strategies 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 discipline.
- knows the content of the discipline and conveys accurate information and concepts.
- bases instruction on approved content standards and current research.
- engages students in applying methods of inquiry and standards of evidence of the discipline.
- uses multiple representations and explanations of concepts that capture key ideas.
- helps students to learn and use academic language accurately and meaningfully.
- evaluates and selects instructional resources for accuracy, accessibility, and relevance.
- stimulates student reflection on prior content knowledge, links new concepts to familiar concepts, and makes connections to students' experiences.
- understands common misconceptions in the discipline and how to direct student learning to replace them with accurate conceptual understanding.
Standard 5: Assessment
The teacher uses multiple methods of assessment 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.
- designs and/or selects pre-assessments, formative, and summative assessments in a variety of formats that match learning objectives and engages the learner in demonstrating knowledge and skills.
- engages students in understanding and identifying the elements of quality work and provides them with timely and descriptive feedback to guide their progress in producing that work.
- adjusts assessment methods and makes appropriate accommodations for English Language Learners, students with disabilities, advanced students, and students who are not meeting learning goals.
- uses data to assess the effectiveness of instruction and to make adjustments in planning and instruction.
- documents student progress and provides descriptive feedback to students, parents, and other stakeholders in a variety of ways.
- understands and practices appropriate and ethical assessment 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, core curriculum standards, instructional best practices, and the community context.
- plans instruction based on the approved state curriculum.
- individually and collaboratively selects and creates learning experiences that are appropriate for reaching content standards, relevant to learners, and based on principles of effective instruction.
- differentiates instruction for individuals and groups of students by choosing appropriate strategies and accommodations, resources, materials, sequencing, technical tools, and demonstrations of learning.
- creates opportunities for students to generate and evaluate new ideas, seek inventive solutions to problems, and create original work.
- integrates cross-disciplinary skills into instruction to purposefully engage learners in applying content knowledge.
Standard 7: Instructional Strategies
The teacher uses various instructional strategies 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.
- understands and practices the principles, techniques, advantages, and limitations of a range of developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate instructional strategies.
- uses appropriate strategies and resources to adapt instruction and vary his or her role to meet the needs of individuals and groups of learners.
- continuously monitors student learning, engages students in assessing their own progress, and adjusts instruction and modifies resources in response to student learning needs.
- analyzes student errors and misconceptions in order to redirect, focus, and deepen learning.
- models effective strategies to support and expand learners’ communication through speaking, listening reading, writing, and other media.
- provides multiple opportunities for students to gather, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and ideas and develop meta-cognitive skills.
- provides opportunities for students to demonstrate and apply their knowledge with a variety of student products and performances.
- encourages students to understand, question, and analyze information from multiple and diverse sources and perspectives to answer questions and solve real-world problems.
- supports content and skill development by using multiple media and technology resources and knows how to evaluate these resources for quality, accuracy, and effectiveness.
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 learning by regularly examining practice through ongoing study, self-reflection, and collaboration. 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.
- independently and in collaboration with colleagues, uses a variety of data to evaluate the outcomes of teaching and learning and to reflect on and adapt planning and practice.
- actively seeks professional, community, and technological resources, within and outside the school, as supports for reflection and problem-solving.
- recognizes and reflects on personal and professional biases and accesses resources to deepen understanding of differences to build stronger relationships and create more relevant learning experiences.
- actively investigates and considers new ideas that improve teaching and learning and draws on current education policy and research as sources of reflection.
- engages in meaningful and appropriate learning experiences to improve professional practice and student learning.
- develops a professional learning 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.
- prepares for and participates actively as a team member in decision-making processes and building a shared vision and supportive culture that effect the school and larger educational community.
- participates actively as part of the learning community, sharing responsibility for decision-making and accountability for each student’s learning, and giving and receiving feedback.
- advocates for the learners, the school, the community, and the profession.
- works with other school professionals to plan and jointly facilitate learning to meet diverse needs of learners.
- engages in professional learning 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.
- is responsible for compliance with federal and state laws, State Board of Education Administrative rules, state assessment policies, local board policies, and supervisory directives.
- avoids actions which may adversely affect ability to perform assigned duties and carry out the responsibilities of the profession, including role-model responsibilities.
- takes responsibility to understand professional requirements, to maintain a current Utah Educator License, and to complete license upgrades, renewals, and additional requirements in a timely way.
- maintains accurate instructional and non-instructional records.
- maintains integrity and confidentiality in matters concerning student records and collegial consultation.
- develops appropriate student-teacher relationships as defined in rule, law, and policy.
- maintains professional demeanor and appearance as defined by the Local Education Agency (LEA).
Download the UTAH EFFECTIVE TEACHING STANDARDS document. (PDF)