How and getting to focus and be active

How do we teach the teachers? How do we support and develop our teachers so that they can reach the students most efficiently? According to prep scholar website, a website which analyses ACT scores and compares them to the rest of the country, Arkansas in 2017 is 2 points below the national average of a 21. Many factors play into that number, but TESS is trying to address one specific reason. What is T.E.S.S? T.E.S.S stands for Teacher Excellence support system. Arkansas Legislature passed legislation Defining T.E.S.S in 2011 and fully put into action in 2015. () T.E.S.S is broken down into four domain, Planning and preparation, The Classroom Environment, Professional Responsibilities, and Instruction. T.E..S.S then breaks down each of the domains into subcategories, which are then graded on a rubric on a scale 1 to 4. The break down of each domain is crucial because it allows the teacher to get excellent and accurate feedback on many different aspects of each domain. The first domain is Planning and preparation.  The most important part of planning and preparation is Demonstrate Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy (1a). Being able to convey knowledge to the students is the bases of what teaching is, and having knowledge of the content area, and being able to build and establish a platform of previous knowledge is so important when planning a lesson. The second subcategory and just as important as the first is demonstrating knowledge of students (1b). The high school level is not college, throwing information and expecting them to learn will not work. College is a place of higher learning, everyone there is there for a reason, but high school is different. Students are required to be there, they are not on their own, and they all come for different households, and the extent of the diversity depends entirely on the school. Demonstrating Knowledge of students, by engaging them and getting to focus and be active learners can either make or break a student’s academic career. Sub categories c through f are not less important, but they just help analysis the Planning and Preparation process will help the teacher prepare and develop better lesson places. Domain 2 is The Classroom Environment in both the physical and cultural sense. There are so many different aspects that play into Creating a Learning Environment, and in this category, it is important not to let one of the subcategories outweigh another. Subcategory (2a) is creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport, and (2b) is Establishing a Culture of Learning. A Culture for learning is important, but a strict learning environment with no respect for the student will not create and Health Environment. Teachers have to Manage their classes (2c) with respect, along with Managing student Behaviors (2d) so that a learning culture can be established. T.E.S.S does a great job separating these, so teachers can not get overwhelmed and have small things to correct that will help their classroom environment. Domain 3  is very straightforward. TESS breaks it down, but it all comes down to communication. Teachers have to be able to Communicate with students (1a). Students will not achieve success without clear instructions. Communicate comes in many ways, questions and Discussions (2b), Activities and assignment that engage students to learn, and Feedback giving students constructive criticism (3d). Each of these subcategories is about communicating, and communicate will show how much you care. Communicate takes effort. Communicate isn’t just verbal, it is also very subtle in how you teach, how you walk into the classroom, and even how you talk to other teachers. How you Communicate with other will be how your students communicate with you. Domain 4 is Professional Responsibility. This is how you go about the actual job of teaching Showing professionalism (4f), how you act in the community (4d), communicating with families, etc. Teaching is not just an 8 to 3 job. The town, community, and school are all one. The Teacher title does not stay in the car when you go to Walmart; it stays on. Becoming a teacher is just about teaching, it is about becoming an active member of your community.  There is a new aspect with young teachers with social media, being responsible online is a must. Losing a teaching license over a post is not worth it.  This domain does a great job not only in assessing the professionalism of the teacher, but also the development (4e).T.E.S.S does a great job of separating into 4 main domain, but they all overlap in the practice of teaching. The Environment of respect towards student will show professionalism when a student is yell or misbehaving. Planning out a lesson and having the student give feedback to help develop future lesson plans.  The list goes on, Teaching is very much an interdisciplinary study, and T.E.S.S is necessary to help focus on one discipline in teaching that can be improved that will also improve all the disciples around it.

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