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Teaching Standards and Continuum

The standards and the continuum for teacher development represent the vision of the kind of teacher and teaching we are trying to foster in the MAT-JDS/Delet program.

The standards and continuum function as an important tool for interns, mentors, field instructors, and faculty.  They are not intended to serve as a checklist.  Rather they provide a common framework and language for talking about teaching and learning in Jewish day schools and a set of outcomes toward which we aspire.  We use them to frame classroom observations and guide instructional planning, to document and assess interns’ progress and learning over time, and to frame our “Snapshots of Emerging Practice” events where interns share publicly about their practice and provide evidence of their developing capacities.

The program standards are organized around seven broad areas that together add up to a rounded portrait of good day school teaching in the elementary grades.  Each standard is broken down into three to six elements of teaching practice in that area.  Because of the holistic nature of teaching, some overlap is inevitable.  The continuum describes what each element of the standard might look in practice like at various stages in a teacher’s development.

Learning to teach well takes time.  It is not a process that is completed in a teacher preparation program.  Therefore, we expect MAT-JDS/Delet graduates to continue working toward these standards as they move into teaching.

These standards and continuum are a work in progress.  Delet’s national design team initially developed the standards during the pilot phase of the program, drawing on state and national efforts to frame professional standards for beginning elementary teachers.  The continuum was developed in later years, also building on the work of experts in the field of education.  They will continue to evolve as we clarify their meaning in practice.

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