MTSS and North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards

Standard 1.1

Teachers lead in their classrooms.

Teachers demonstrate leadership by taking responsibility for the progress of all students to ensure that they graduate from high school, are globally competitive for work and postsecondary education, and are prepared for life in the 21st century. Teachers communicate this vision to their students. Using a variety of data sources, they organize, plan, and set goals that meet the needs of the individual student and the class. Teachers use various types of assessment data during the school year to evaluate student progress and to make adjustments to the teaching and learning process. They establish a safe, orderly environment, and create a culture that empowers students to collaborate and become lifelong learners.

Teachers should:
  • Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Use classroom assessment data to inform program planning.
  • Empower and encouragesstudents to create and maintain a safe and supportive school and community environment.


Teachers Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students

Teachers provide an environment in which each child has a positive, nurturing relationship with caring adults.
Teachers encourage an environment that is inviting, respectful, supportive, inclusive, and flexible.

Teachers should:
  • Encourage and advise others to provide a nurturing and positive learning environment for all students.

Teachers embrace diversity in the school community and in the world.

Teachers demonstrate their knowledge of the history of diverse cultures and their role in shaping global issues. They actively select materials and develop lessons that counteract stereotypes and incorporate histories and contributions of all cultures. Teachers recognize the influence of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other aspects of culture on a student’s development and personality. Teachers strive to understand how a student’s culture and background may influence his or her school performance. Teachers consider and incorporate different points of view in their instruction.

Teachers should:
  • Promote a deep understanding of cultures through the integration of culturally sensitive materials and ideas throughout the curriculum.
  • Capitalize on diversity as an asset in the classroom.

Teachers treat students as individuals.

Teachers maintain high expectations, including graduation from high school, for students of all backgrounds. Teachers appreciate the differences and value the contributions of each student in the learning environment by building positive, appropriate relationships.

Teachers should:
  • Help students hold high expectations for themselves and their peers.

Teachers adapt their teaching for the benefit of students with special needs.

Teachers collaborate with the range of support specialists to help meet the special needs of all students. Through inclusion and other models of effective practice, teachers engage students to ensure that their needs are met.

Teachers should:
  • Anticipate the unique learning needs of students and solicit assistance from within and outside the school to address those needs.
  • Adapt instruction for the benefit of students with special needs and help colleagues do the same for their students.

Teachers work collaboratively with the families and significant adults in the lives of their students.

Teachers recognize that educating children is a shared responsibility involving the school, parents or guardians, and the community. Teachers improve communication and collaboration between the school and the home and community in order to promote trust and understanding and build partnerships with all segments of the school community. Teachers seek solutions to overcome cultural and economic obstacles that may stand in the way of effective family and community involvement in the education of their students.

Teachers should:
  • Promote trust and understanding throughout the school community.


Teachers know the ways in which learning takes place, and they know the appropriate levels of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of their students.

Teachers know how students think and learn. Teachers understand the influences that affect individual student learning (development, culture, language proficiency, etc.) and differentiate their instruction accordingly.Teachers keep abreast of evolving research about student learning. They adapt resources to address the strengths and weaknesses of their students.

Teachers should:
  • Encourage and guide colleagues to adapt instruction to align with students’ developmental levels.
  • Stay abreast of current research about student learning and emerging resources and encourage the school to adopt or adapt them for the benefit of all students.

Teachers plan instruction appropriate for their students.

Teachers collaborate with their colleagues and use a variety of data sources for short and long range planning based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. These plans reflect an understanding of how students learn. Teachers engage students in the learning process. They understand that instructional plans must be constantly monitored and modified to enhance learning. Teachers make the curriculum responsive to cultural diversity and to individual learning needs.

Teachers should:
  • Monitor student performance and respond to cultural diversity and learning needs through the school improvement process.

Teachers use a variety of instructional methods.

Teachers choose the methods and techniques that are most effective in meeting the needs of their students as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps. Teachers employ a wide range of techniques including information and communication technology, learning styles, and differentiated instruction.

Teachers should:
  • Stays abreast of emerging research areas and new and innovative materials and incorporate them into lesson plans and instructional strategies.
Teachers integrate and utilize technology in their instruction.

Teachers know when and how to use technology to maximize student learning. Teachers help students use technology to learn content, think critically, solve problems, discern reliability, use information, communicate, innovate, and collaborate.

Teachers should:
  • Provide evidence of student engagement in higher level thinking skills through the integration of technology.

Teachers help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Teachers encourage students to ask questions, think creatively, develop and test innovative ideas, synthesize knowledge and draw conclusions. They help students exercise and communicate sound reasoning; understand connections; make complex choices; and frame, analyze, and solve problems.

Teachers should:
  • Encourage and assist teachers throughout the school to integrate critical thinking and problem solving skills into their instructional practices.

Teachers help students work in teams and develop leadership qualities.

Teachers teach the importance of cooperation and collaboration. They organize learning teams in order to help students define roles, strengthen social ties, improve communication and collaborative skills, interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and develop leadership qualities.

Teachers should:
  • Foster the development of student leadership and teamwork skills to be used beyond the classroom.

Teachers communicate effectively.

Teachers communicate in ways that are clearly understood by their students. They are perceptive listeners and are able to communicate with students in a variety of ways, even when language is a barrier. Teachers help students articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively. 

Teachers should:
  • Anticipate possible student misunderstandings and proactively develop teaching techniques to mitigate concerns.
  • Establishe school-wide and grade appropriate vehicles to encourage students throughout the school to develop effective communication skills.

Teachers use a variety of methods to assess what each student has learned.

Teachers use multiple indicators, including formative and summative assessments, to evaluate student progress and growth as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps. Teachers provide opportunities, methods, feedback, and tools for students to assess themselves and each other. Teachers use 21st century assessment systems to inform instruction and demonstrate evidence of students’ 21st century knowledge, skills, performance, and dispositions.

Teachers should:
  • Teach students and encourage them to use peer and self assessment feedback to assess their own learning.
  • Encourage and guide colleagues to assess 21st century skills, knowledge, and dispositions and to use the assessment information to adjust their instructional practice.

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