Stages of Professional Development (Levels of Performance)
A teacher candidate at this level of development is able to demonstrate knowledge of the skills verbally or in writing, and able to identify their use in practice while observing a cooperating teacher. Observation leads to increasing awareness of what a teacher should know and be able to do. Candidates at this level are given opportunities to try the use of basic skills they have observed and can do so with confidence in a highly structured and mentored classroom placements.
This level of development is usually associated with students at the beginning and during their early/initial field experiences.
The understanding of and the ability to recognize skills in practice, is the basis upon which the candidate begins to develop and apply early teaching skills. Consequentially, the candidate is prepared to and begins to assume responsibility for very brief and limited segments of instruction and usually in small groups (rather than whole group). Development at this level is fragmented with some skills developed further than others. Candidates learn through trying new skills and by making mistakes. Candidates make mistakes in pacing, presentation, timing, and poor or underdeveloped plans. Instruction is rarely differentiated to the needs of the diverse cultures, languages, and abilities of students, thus leaving some not engaged and confused. Parent, community, and school dynamics and relationships are not integrated into the candidate's awareness or planning.
This level of development is usually associated with students at the end of early field and the beginning of their second practicum experience.
Emerging skills are beginning to be applied with more confidence, and fewer mistakes, yet the candidate continues to require significant support and guidance. The candidate is given regular opportunities to present to small groups and limited/brief opportunities to whole group. The candidate's planning continues to be characterized by lack of sensitivity to the development, culture, language and needs of individual students and groups of students. The candidate is increasingly aware of parent, community, and school dynamics and relationships, but fails to integrate that awareness into practice. Application of skills remains fragmented, but is becoming more consistent and integrated.
This level of development is usually associated with students at the during final practicum experiences and, in rare cases, at the beginning of student teaching. If so, they should only remain at this level for a short time.
Candidates at this level are beginning to apply with regularity the skills they have acquired over prior experiences well enough to merit confidence from others. Consequently, they are given responsibility for larger and larger portion of the instructional day, including time where instructional planning and implementation is left completely to their control for extended periods of time. The candidate is beginning to implement practices that are sensitive to the development, culture, language and needs of individual students and groups of students. This is manifest by differentiate instructional practices and individualization of strategies. Consequently, increasingly greater percentages of the students are engaged and involved in learning. The candidate is aware of parent, community, and school dynamics and relationships, and is involved with the cooperating teacher in these relationships.
Most students begin student teaching at this level of development.
Proficient (ready to enter the profession)
At this level of development, the candidate is skilled at using most core content and strategies. The candidate is confident in areas of prior experience, but may show hesitancy in new areas. Practice is characterized by few and only minor errors. While the candidate can describe what should be done to differentiate instruction at this point and they are able to implement it most of the time, they are unable to implement it consistently across all students all of the time. Implementation can still be rough at times, but overall instruction is smooth and well-paced. The classroom climate is orderly with occasional issues of discipline. Parent and community interactions are a consistent part the candidate's repertoire.
While this is the level at which most candidate finish student teaching, on-going mentoring will still be required to polish established skills, learn new skills, and develop confidence in employing consistently what they know.
The candidate does not understand the concepts underlying this component or does not care to apply the knowledge effectively. Consequently, performance at this level is below the licensing stand of "do no harm." For example, candidates treat students poorly using sarcasm or put-downs, the environment is chaotic, the candidate consistently misspells words written on the board, the candidate is unable to teach the content or answer questions about that which was taught.
No student should ever exhibit behavior at this level, and corrective action should be implemented and documented when such behavior is observed.
* Some language and ideas contained in these descriptions were adopted from Enhancing Professional Practice, A Framework for Teaching, by Charlotte Danielson