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RULE §235.11Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Standards, Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3

(a) Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) standards. The PPR standards identified in this section are targeted for classroom teachers of early learners (birth through age eight). The standards address the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of teaching to inform skill-based training and development. The standards inform proper teaching techniques, strategies, teacher actions, teacher judgements, and decisions by taking into consideration theories of learning, understandings of students and their needs, and the backgrounds and interests of individual students. The standards are also aligned with the Commissioner's Teacher Standards in 19 TAC Chapter 149 of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Educator Standards).

(b) Instructional Planning and Delivery. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers demonstrate understanding of instructional planning and delivery by providing standards-based, data-driven, differentiated instruction that engages students and makes learning relevant for today's learners. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers must:

  (1) develop lessons that build coherently toward objectives based on course content, curriculum scope and sequence, and expected student outcomes;

  (2) effectively communicate goals, expectations, and objectives to help all students reach high levels of achievement;

  (3) connect students' prior understanding and real-world experiences to new content and contexts, maximizing learning opportunities;

  (4) plan instruction that is developmentally appropriate, is standards driven, and motivates students to learn;

  (5) differentiate instruction, aligning methods and techniques to diverse student needs, including acceleration, remediation, and implementation of individual education plans;

  (6) plan student groupings, including pairings and individualized and small-group instruction, to facilitate student learning;

  (7) integrate the use of oral, written, graphic, kinesthetic, and/or tactile methods to teach key concepts;

  (8) ensure that the learning environment features a high degree of student engagement by facilitating discussion and student-centered activities as well as leading direct instruction;

  (9) encourage all students to overcome obstacles and remain persistent in the face of challenges, providing them with support in achieving their goals;

  (10) set high expectations and create challenging learning experiences for students, encouraging them to apply disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems;

  (11) provide opportunities for students to engage in individual and collaborative critical thinking and problem solving;

  (12) monitor and assess students' progress to ensure that their lessons meet students' needs;

  (13) provide immediate feedback to students in order to reinforce their learning and ensure that they understand key concepts; and

  (14) adjust content delivery in response to student progress through the use of developmentally appropriate strategies that maximize student engagement.

(c) Knowledge of Student and Student Learning. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers work to ensure high levels of learning, social-emotional development, and achievement outcomes for all students, taking into consideration each student's educational and developmental backgrounds and focusing on each student's needs. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers must:

  (1) create a community of learners in an inclusive environment that views differences in learning and background as educational assets;

  (2) connect learning, content, and expectations to students' prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests in meaningful contexts;

  (3) understand the unique qualities of students with exceptional needs, including disabilities and giftedness, and know how to effectively address these needs through instructional strategies and resources;

  (4) understand the role of language and culture in learning and know how to modify their practice to support language acquisition so that language is comprehensible and instruction is fully accessible;

  (5) understand how learning occurs and how learners develop, construct meaning, and acquire knowledge and skills; and

  (6) identify readiness for learning and understand how development in one area may affect students' performance in other areas.

(d) Content Knowledge and Expertise. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers exhibit an understanding of content, discipline, and related pedagogy as demonstrated through the quality of the design and execution of lessons and the ability to match objectives and activities to relevant state standards. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers must:

  (1) have expertise in how their content vertically and horizontally aligns with the grade-level/subject area continuum, leading to an integrated curriculum across grade levels and content areas;

  (2) identify gaps in students' knowledge of subject matter and communicate with their leaders and colleagues to ensure that these gaps are adequately addressed across grade levels and subject areas;

  (3) keep current with developments, new content, new approaches, and changing methods of instructional delivery within their discipline;

  (4) organize curriculum to facilitate student understanding of the subject matter;

  (5) understand, actively anticipate, and adapt instruction to address common misunderstandings and preconceptions;

  (6) promote literacy and the academic language within the discipline and make discipline-specific language accessible to all learners;

  (7) teach both the key content knowledge and the key skills of the discipline; and

  (8) make appropriate and authentic connections across disciplines, subjects, and students' real world experiences.

(e) Learning Environment. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers interact with students in respectful ways at all times, maintaining a physically and emotionally safe, supportive learning environment that is characterized by efficient and effective routines, clear expectations for student behavior, and organization that maximizes student learning. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers must:

  (1) embrace students' backgrounds and experiences as an asset in their learning;

  (2) maintain and facilitate respectful, supportive, positive, and productive interactions with and among students;

  (3) establish and sustain learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and respond to students' needs, strengths, and personal experiences;

  (4) create a physical classroom set-up that is flexible and accommodates the different learning needs of students;

  (5) implement behavior management systems to maintain an environment where all students can learn effectively;

  (6) maintain a culture that is based on high expectations for student performance and encourages students to be self-motivated, taking responsibility for their own learning;

  (7) maximize instructional time, including managing transitions;

  (8) manage and facilitate groupings in order to maximize student collaboration, participation, and achievement; and

  (9) communicate regularly, clearly, and appropriately with parents and families about student progress, providing detailed and constructive feedback and partnering with families in furthering their students' achievement goals.

(f) Data-Driven Practices. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers use formal and informal methods to assess student growth aligned to instructional goals and course objectives and regularly review and analyze multiple sources of data to measure student progress and adjust instructional strategies and content delivery as needed. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers must:

  (1) gauge student progress and ensure mastery of content knowledge and skills by providing assessments aligned to instructional objectives and outcomes that are accurate measures of student learning;

  (2) analyze and review data in a timely, thorough, accurate, and appropriate manner, both individually and with colleagues, to monitor student learning; and

  (3) design instruction, change strategies, and differentiate their teaching practices to improve student learning based on assessment outcomes.

(g) Professional Practices and Responsibilities. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers consistently hold themselves to a high standard for individual development, collaborate with other educational professionals, communicate regularly with stakeholders, maintain professional relationships, comply with all campus and school district policies, and conduct themselves ethically and with integrity. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 classroom teachers must:

  (1) reflect on their own strengths and professional learning needs, using this information to develop action plans for improvement;

  (2) seek out feedback from supervisor, coaches, and peers and take advantage of opportunities for job-embedded professional development;

  (3) adhere to the educators' code of ethics in §247.2 of this title (relating to Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators), including following policies and procedures at their specific school placement(s);

  (4) communicate consistently, clearly, and respectfully with all members of the campus community, administrators, and staff; and

  (5) serve as advocates for their students, focusing attention on students' needs and concerns and maintaining thorough and accurate student records.

Source Note: The provisions of this §235.11 adopted to be effective March 8, 2018, 43 TexReg 1267

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