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A. Generalist

Note.  Printed with permission from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, (Early Childhood/Generalist Standards, 1998; Middle Childhood/Generalist Standards, 1998; Early Adolescence/Generalist Standards, 1998), www.nbpts.org. All rights reserved.

Checklist

1. Early childhood

___a. Understanding young children

___b. Promoting child development and learning

___c. Knowledge of integrated curriculum

___d. Multiple teaching strategies for meaningful learning

___e. Assessment

___f. Reflective practice

___g. Family partnerships

___h. Professional partnerships 

2. Middle childhood

___a. Knowledge of students

___b. Knowledge of content and curriculum

___c. Learning environment

___d. Respect for diversity

___e. Instructional resources

___f. Meaningful application of knowledge

___g. Multiple paths to knowledge

___h. Assessment

___i. Family involvement

___j. Reflection

___k. Contributions to the profession 

3. Early adolescence

___a. Knowledge of young adolescents

___b. Knowledge of subject matter

___c. Learning environment

___d. Respect for diversity

___e. Instructional resources

___f. Meaningful learning

___g. Multiple paths to knowledge

___h. Social development

___i. Assessment

___j. Family partnerships

___k. Reflective practice

___l. Collaboration with colleagues 

Applications/Examples

1. Early Childhood 

___a. Understanding young children

  • Teachers use their knowledge of child development and their relationships with children and families to understand children as individuals and plan in response to their unique needs and potentials.

  • They know how young children grow and develop.

  • They are also able to recognize and capitalize on the diversity and commonality that exists among their students.

___b. Promoting child development and learning

  • Teachers promote children's physical, emotional, linguistic, creative, intellectual, social, and cognitive development by organizing the environment in ways that best facilitate the development and learning of young children.

  • Teachers understand the central role of play in child development.

  • They foster physical health, development, and growth.

  • They enhance social development and social skills by establishing a climate that fosters learning, setting norms for social interaction, and intervening to assist students in resolving disputes and conflicts.

  • Teachers support children's emotional development and self-respect by promoting independence, risk taking, and persistence in their students and by serving as models in their enthusiasm for learning and commitment to hard work.

  • Teachers are skilled at providing a blend of challenge and support in learning tasks and in their personal responses to each student.

  • Teachers support development of children's language acquisition.

  • The classroom is an inclusive place where varieties of language are accepted and celebrated and where teachers model a variety of uses and means of oral and written language.

  • Teachers facilitate positive dispositions and approaches toward learning, focusing on the fact that children learn differently from one another.

  • Teachers value and model thinking and discourse about ideas as a worthwhile activity.

  • They encourage children to explore phenomena, learn to solve problems in different ways, and share and test their explanations and interpretations with other students.

  • They help children learn in a variety of ways: to understand concepts, to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, to appreciate different responses to a question, to relate information across the boundaries of traditional disciplines and between the classroom and community settings.

___c. Knowledge of integrated curriculum

  • Teachers design and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences within and across the disciplines.

  • They employ a considerable amount of cross-disciplinary teaching in their practice.

  • They are adept at creating projects and experiences that foster the joining of skills and knowledge from multiple disciplines.

  • They set ambitious but reasonable expectations for student learning.

  • They sequence activities in ways that make sense conceptually.

___d. Multiple teaching strategies for meaningful learning

  • Teachers use a variety of methods and materials to promote individual development, meaningful learning, and social cooperation.

  • They have a variety of methods to help students uncover and explore their ideas about what they are learning.

  • They are skilled at observing, listening, facilitating discussions, orchestrating play, asking questions, adapting materials and routines to new uses, and helping children make connections with past ideas, experiences, and bodies of knowledge.

  • Teachers make use of a variety of instructional materials and technological tools.

  • They challenge, support, and provide opportunities for students to help them succeed by providing high expectations, strong support, and engaging, achievable activities for each student on a daily basis.

  • Teachers foster student capacity to make choices and work as independent learners; they work successfully with children with exceptional needs.

___e. Assessment

  • Teachers know the strengths and weaknesses of various assessment methodologies, continually monitor children's activities and behavior, and analyze this information to improve their work with children and parents.

  • They use a variety of approaches for assessing children (observations, questioning, anecdotal records of how children spent their time, collecting examples of children's writing, art work, audiotapes of oral reading, dictated stories, standardized instruments, etc.).

  • Teachers use assessment to inform their instruction.

___f. Reflective practice

  • Teachers regularly analyze, evaluate, and strengthen the quality and effectiveness of their work.

  • They evaluate results and seek input systematically from a variety of sources.

  • They are open to new ideas and continually refine their practice.

___g. Family partnerships

  • Teachers work with and through parents and families to support children's learning and development.

  • They communicate effectively with parents and families to inform and enhance support for children's learning.

  • They work effectively with family and community volunteers in classroom and school activities.

  • Teachers assist families in supporting children's learning and development at home.

  • They work effectively with parents in decision-making roles and on policy issues.

  • They assist families in obtaining support and services to help children.

___h. Professional partnerships

  • Teachers work with colleagues to improve programs and practices for young children and their families.

  • They are skilled at working with a variety of other people in providing effective early-childhood education.

  • They contribute to the professional development of colleagues and support staff.

  • They understand and participate in shaping policies that influence their work with children.

  • They contribute to early-childhood education by giving workshops, networking, participating in professional organizations, etc.

2. Middle Childhood

___a. Knowledge of students

  • Teachers draw on their knowledge of child development and their relationships with students to understand their students' abilities, interests, aspirations, and values.

  • They understand and appreciate the ways in which each student is unique as well as the commonalities of middle childhood.

  • They use their knowledge of cognitive development to design and provide appropriate instruction for their students.

  • Teachers are keen observers of students; they seek ways to connect with their students.

___b. Knowledge of content and curriculum 

  • Teachers draw on their knowledge of subject matter and curriculum to make sound decisions about what is important for students to learn within and across the subject areas that compose the middle-school curriculum.

  • They have a firm foundation in the subject matter, which allows them to establish high standards for student performance, create or select powerful tasks for students to explore, choose important topics and quality materials that use students' time wisely, and recognize when a shift in focus might take advantage of opportunities for learning that emerge during instruction.

  • Teachers use their subject-matter knowledge to make sound curricular decisions.

  • They foster student understanding of the central ideas in the major subject areas of the middle-school curriculum, their interrelations, and their applications to daily life.

  • They select meaningful tasks for students.

___c. Learning environment 

  • Teachers establish a caring, inclusive, stimulating, and safe school community where students can take intellectual risks, practice democracy, and work both collaboratively and independently.

  • They emphasize equity, fairness, and student effort by providing students with learning and performance options, and allocating time, learning opportunities, or other resources.

  • They hold high expectations for all students and communicate their belief that all students will participate and learn; teachers involve their students in setting clear, consistent expectations for classroom behavior.

  • They focus on democratic values in the classroom by encouraging positive student interactions, dealing constructively with socially inappropriate behavior, and appreciating humor and using it when appropriate.

  • Teachers address disciplinary problems forthrightly.

  • They create a physical environment that supports learning.

___d. Respect for diversity 

  • Teachers help students to learn to respect individual and group differences.

  • They design activities and raise questions that require students to think about ethical issues and conflicts from a variety of perspectives.

  • They offer opportunities for joint decision making and rule making, and they encourage students to address actively the social, economic, and environmental issues in their community.

  • Teachers foster students' social and emotional growth; they encourage the development of sound social and ethical values.

___e. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers create, assess, select, and adapt a rich and varied collection of materials and draw on other resources such as staff, community members, and students to support learning.

___f. Meaningful application of knowledge 

  • Teachers engage students in learning within and across the discipline and help students understand how the subjects they study can be used to explore important issues in their lives and the world around them.

  • They select worthwhile topics for study.

  • They build student capacity to learn, apply knowledge, and act independently.

___g. Multiple paths to knowledge 

  • Teachers provide students with multiple paths needed to learn the central concepts in each school subject, explore important themes and topics that cut across subject areas, and build knowledge and understanding.

  • They create instructional tasks that respond to both the commonalities and differences among learners by designing a variety of approaches for the well-being of the class as a whole (small-group work, whole-class work, individual work).

  • Teachers provide students with multiple perspectives on key matters of interest (direct instruction, cooperative group work and discussions; metaphors, analogies, illustrations, etc.; technological resources appropriate to situations and topics).

  • They use time efficiently and adjust their plans as circumstances dictate.

___h. Assessment 

  • Teachers understand the strengths and weaknesses of different assessment methods, base their instruction on ongoing assessment, and encourage students to monitor their own learning.

  • They employ a variety of assessment methodologies (journals, portfolios, demonstrations, exhibitions, oral presentations, and videotapes), questioning and observing to check student understanding.

  • Teachers focus assessment on students' capacity for critical thinking and in-depth understanding.

___i. Family involvement 

  • Teachers work to create positive relationships with families as they participate in the education of their children by gaining insight about students through partnerships with families and by cultivating families' interest in supporting their children's education.

___j. Reflection 

  • Teachers regularly analyze, evaluate, and strengthen the effectiveness and quality of their practice by evaluating results and seeking input systematically from a variety of sources and by being open to new ideas and continuously refining their practice.

___k. Contributions to the profession 

  • Teachers work with colleagues to improve schools and to advance knowledge and practice in the field by contributing to the school's intellectual life, the overall quality of instruction, and the advancement of the profession.

3. Early Adolescence

___a. Knowledge of young adolescents 

  • Teachers draw on their knowledge of early adolescent development and their relationships with students to understand and foster their students' knowledge, skills, interests, aspirations, and values.

  • They understand and appreciate the diversity of young adolescents by holding high expectations for all students, though being aware of he fact that not all young adolescents learn in the same way; teachers form constructive relationships with students.

  • They observe students insightfully.

___b. Knowledge of subject matter 

  • Teachers draw on their knowledge of subject matter to establish goals and to facilitate student learning within and across the disciplines that comprise the middle grades curriculum.

  • They have a firm foundation in the subject matter, which allows them to establish high standards for student performance, create or select powerful tasks for students to explore, choose important topics and quality materials that use students' time wisely, and recognize when a shift in focus might take advantage of opportunities for learning that emerge during instruction.

  • Teachers use their subject-matter knowledge to make sound curricular decisions.

  • They foster student understanding of the central ideas in the major subject areas of the middle-school curriculum, their interrelations, and their applications to daily life.

  • They select meaningful tasks for students.

___c. Learning environment 

  • Teachers establish a caring, inclusive, stimulating, and safe school community where students can take intellectual risks and work both collaboratively and independently.

  • They emphasize equity, fairness, and student effort by providing students with learning and performance options, and allocating time, learning opportunities, or other resources.

  • They hold high expectations for all students and communicate their belief that all students will participate and learn.

  • They focus on democratic values in the classroom by encouraging positive student interactions, dealing constructively with socially inappropriate behavior, and appreciating humor and using it when appropriate.

  • Teachers address disciplinary problems forthrightly.

  • They create a physical environment that supports learning.

___d. Respect for diversity 

  • Teachers help students to learn to respect individual and group differences.

  • They design activities and raise questions that require students to think about ethical issues and conflicts from a variety of perspectives.

  • They offer opportunities for joint decision making and rule making, and they encourage students to address actively the social, economic, and environmental issues in their community.

  • Teachers foster students' social and emotional growth.

  • They encourage the development of sound social and ethical values.

___e. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers create, assess, select, and adapt a rich and varied collection of materials and draw on other resources such as staff, community members, and students to support learning.

___f. Meaningful learning

  • Teachers require students to confront, explore, and understand important and challenging concepts, topics, and issues in purposeful ways by selecting worthwhile topics for study, by building student capacity to apply knowledge and act independently, and by providing students opportunities to define which issues are worth exploring.

___g. Multiple paths to knowledge

  • Teachers use a variety of approaches to help students build knowledge and strengthen understanding. 

  • They create instructional tasks that respond to student diversity by designing a variety of approaches for the well-being of the class as a whole (small-group work, whole-class work, individual work).

  • Teachers provide students with multiple perspectives on key matters of interest (direct instruction, cooperative group work and discussions; metaphors, analogies, illustrations, etc.; technological resources appropriate to situations and topics).

  • They use time efficiently and adjust their plans as circumstances dictate.

___h. Social development 

  • Teachers foster students' self-awareness, self-esteem, character, civic responsibility, and respect for diverse individuals and groups.

  • They foster students' social and emotional growth (note whether students are enjoying school, making friends, developing a sense of belonging, accepting responsibility, acting with integrity, and displaying concern for others).

  • Teachers encourage the development of sound social and ethical values by designing activities and raising questions that help students recognize prejudice and stereotypes.

  • Teachers help students see the cause-and-effect relationship of their actions.

  • They provide opportunities for joint decision making and rule making along with student participation in the government of the classroom.

___i. Assessment 

  • Teachers employ a variety of assessment methods to obtain useful information about student learning and development and to assist students in reflecting on their own progress.

  • They employ a variety of assessment methodologies (journals, portfolios, demonstrations, exhibitions, oral presentations, and videotapes), incisive questioning during group discussion, and observing to check student understanding.

  • Teachers focus assessment on students' capacity for critical thinking and in-depth understanding.

___j. Family partnerships

  • Teachers work with families to achieve common goals for the education of their children by gaining insight about students through partnerships with families and by cultivating families' interest in supporting their children's education.

___k. Reflective practice

  • Teachers regularly analyze, evaluate, and strengthen the effectiveness and quality of their practice by evaluating results and seeking input systematically from a variety of sources and by being open to new ideas and continuously refining their practice.

___l. Collaboration with colleagues 

  • Teachers work with colleagues to improve schools and to advance knowledge and practice in the field by contributing to the school's intellectual life, the overall quality of instruction, and the advancement of the profession.