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HomeLanguage NewsnewsNew CA Standards Humanize Teaching

New CA Standards Humanize Teaching


California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved long-awaited revised Standards for the Teaching Profession last month that emphasize culturally responsive teaching, social-emotional learning, and family engagement.

The standards, which guide teachers’ professional development and evaluation statewide, broadly describe the knowledge, skills and abilities expected of effective experienced teachers. State law requires that they are updated regularly.

The six overarching domains of teaching in the new document are similar to the previous standards, and are parallel to other state standards, according to the commission. The elements within the domains include definitions and examples. The six domains are also used in the Teaching Performance Expectations, which outline what beginning teachers should know.

Going Deeper
• Domain 1: Engaging and supporting all students in learning – Teachers apply knowledge about each student to activate an approach to learning that strengthens and reinforces each student’s participation, engagement, connection and sense of belonging.

• Domain 2: Creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning – Teachers create and uphold a safe, caring and intellectually stimulating learning environment that affirms student agency, voice, identity and development, and promotes equity and inclusivity.

• Domain 3: Understanding and organizing subject matter for student learning – Teachers integrate content, processes, materials and resources into a coherent, culturally relevant and equitable curriculum that engages and challenges learners to develop the academic and social–emotional knowledge and skills required to become competent and resourceful learners.

• Domain 4: Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for all students – Teachers set a purposeful direction for instruction and learning activities, intentionally planning and enacting challenging and relevant learning experiences that foster each student’s academic and social–emotional development.

• Domain 5: Assessing students for learning – Teachers employ equitable assessment practices to help identify students’ interests and abilities, to reveal what students know and can do and to determine what they need to learn. Teachers use that information to advance and monitor student progress as well as to guide teachers’ and students’ actions to improve learning experiences and outcomes.

• Domain 6: Developing as a professional educator – Teachers develop as effective and caring professional educators by engaging in relevant and high-quality professional learning experiences that increase their teaching capacity, leadership development and personal well-being. Doing so enables teachers to support each student to learn and thrive.

The new standards also focus on family and community engagement, requiring teachers to find effective strategies for communicating and creating relationships with families.

Also new to the standards are two sections, one asking teachers to examine their personal attitudes and biases, and how these impact student learning, and the other asking them to reflect on their personal code of ethics.

After speakers expressed concern about the few references to English learners and students with disabilities in the document, Chair Marquita Grenot-Scheyer made a motion to approve the standards with amendments that would “shine a brighter spotlight” on those students.

She also asked that the amendment include direction to ensure teachers attend individualized education plan meetings. School staff and parents attend these meetings to review the education plan of students with special needs.

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