West Virginia’s 21st century initiative positions teachers in new professional roles as facilitators of education to assure that every student has the opportunity for success in life and in work in this global society. These professional teaching standards are the basis for teacher preparation, assessment of teacher practice and professional development. Professional teaching standards provide a common language that describes what a 21st century teacher needs to know and be able to do. For example, a person interested in entering the teaching profession should be able to read the standards and understand what a 21st century teacher should know and be able to do. The curriculum for West Virginia higher education teacher preparation programs that lead to certification should reflect, and be aligned to, these teaching standards. The teacher evaluation process should also reflect alignment with these standards to assure that the teacher clearly understands the expectations for performance evaluation.