Teaching Standards: Ensuring Effective Education in Iowa

8 Teaching Standards Iowa

8 teaching standards iowa are guidelines that administrators use in their evaluations of teachers. They are not a checklist to be ticked off, rather they guide future growth.

Local districts are free to design their own staff evaluation systems, but they must align with the established criteria for Iowa teaching standards.

1. Learner-Centered Learning

This standard requires teachers to understand how learners develop and engage in learning. They then use this understanding to create learning environments that are cognitively demanding and aligned to high standards.

These environments include student-centered learning, where students make decisions about what they learn and how they learn it. This can help students process information more deeply and find connections between abstract academic concepts and the real world.

For example, they may design projects that solve real-world problems like restoring an ecosystem or increasing voter turnout.

2. Engaged Learning

It’s about equipping students with the career competencies of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and intercultural fluency. These are the skills that employers want.

Whether through undergraduate research, internships, professional practice or civic engagement, engaged learning is the cornerstone of a Baylor education. These high-impact learning experiences connect academics to real-world issues and provide students with unique educational opportunities.

These community-based projects support the Iowa Teaching Standards and Criteria. Each local district will determine its own policies and processes in effort to meet the established criteria.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration is a critical skill for today’s workplace. It allows teams to work together on projects and achieve their goals faster.

This guide helps you understand the principles of effective collaboration in the modern workplace. It also outlines how to develop your collaborative skills, including how to give (and receive) feedback.

This guide serves as a resource for educators to meet their yearly professional development plan requirements. It contains learning opportunities, resources and supports to help teachers meet the new Iowa teacher standards.

4. Accountability

In this age of standards-based education, there has been a growing emphasis on defining what teachers should know and be able to do. However, calls for accountability extend beyond simply describing teaching competency to include the evaluation of said competency.

Many of the same issues that have plagued traditional assessment systems are impacting current teacher-created tests. These concerns include how to accurately measure student learning and growth. Fortunately, there are solutions. One example is GOLD, an observational assessment system that helps educators be intentional about their practice.

5. Assessment

Assessments measure student learning and help educators make informed decisions about instruction. They can take many forms, including formative assessments and summative assessments.

High stakes are tests that have a major impact on students, schools or districts. This can include standardized tests or teacher-created assessments that are linked to rewards or punishments (e.g., school funding, grade promotion or graduation).

Iowa has a strong commitment to standards-based learning. The state participated in the development of NGSS and is a governing member of SMARTER Balanced. Iowa’s AEAs offer training on NGSS for district administrators.

6. Personalized Learning

Personalized learning refers to teaching students based on their individual development, background, interests and experiences. It includes a variety of educational techniques that can vary the pace and method of learning, while still meeting academic standards.

Educators who use this approach believe it offers learners key opportunities for autonomy and choice, while also keeping them engaged. They are able to work on tasks and assignments at their own speed, while teachers can help them with challenging parts of the curriculum.

7. Effective Communication

Effective communication is crucial for success in the workplace and in life. Misunderstandings can be costly, both professionally and personally. This is why it is important to clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas, whether it is in a written email or an oral presentation.

Students develop skills and strategies in preparing written and spoken messages that convey complex ideas and messages to diverse audiences. This includes communicating with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.

8. Accountability

The Iowa School Performance Profiles include multiple measures about the performance of students, districts and schools. Some of these measures are used in accountability calculations, while others provide valuable information that is not included in the calculation of a school’s overall score.

This measure reports the percentage of students in grades five, eight and ten who scored proficient or above on the statewide assessments (ISASP and Dynamic Learning Maps) for science. This measure is included in the accountability system under Every Student Succeeds Act.

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