Professional Teaching Standards

Click here to view the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards PDF document. Links to each of the five standards are as follows:

What are the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards?

Students require knowledge and skills that are unique to the times. The Global 21 initiative and the professional teaching standards ensure that every West Virginia student has the opportunity to succeed in a socially diverse, technologically complex world and its globally competitive economy. The professional teaching standards articulate, in five broad areas, what every West Virginia teacher will know and be able to do in supporting students with effective and relevant instruction that will prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Who was involved in creating the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards?

The West Virginia Board of Education directed the West Virginia Commission for Professional Teaching Standards (WVCPTS) to revise West Virginia's professional teaching standards to ensure alignment with the state's 21st Century teaching and learning initiative. Using a resource team coordinated by the West Virginia Department of Education, the 21-member WVCPTS developed a document that articulates what a 21st century teacher should know and be able to do. This document uses, as a basis for its domains of knowledge, the work of Linda Darling-Hammond and John Bransford in Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (2005). A review of the research was conducted that included effective teaching and national standards documents such as those of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC); National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS); International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); as well as other states' standards and West Virginia's Frameworks for High Performing 21st Century Classrooms, Schools and School Systems. West Virginia's standards were based on the work of Charlotte Danielson in Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching (2007); and a summary of surveys and forums conducted by Susan Saltrick that asked West Virginia educators to describe the essential knowledge and skills needed by a teacher in today's classroom (2006). Subsequent revisions of this document have been made following recommendations by the West Virginia Task Force on Professional Teaching Standards and consultation with various education stakeholders.

Why are the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards Important?

West Virginia's 21st century initiative positions teachers in new professional roles as facilitators of education to ensure that every student has the opportunity for success in life and work in this global society. These professional teaching standards are the basis for teacher preparation, assessment of teacher practice and professional development. 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 ensure a purposeful relationship between expectations for performance and evaluation.

Professional teaching standards provide a common language that describes what a 21st century teacher needs to know and be able to do. Each standard is introduced by an overview that summarizes its essential meaning and scope. Function statements then further define what teachers know and do to implement the standard and describe important characteristics and procedural parts. Each function is divided into a series of indicators that detail specific actions necessary for effective implementation. These indicators may then be evaluated through clearly defined levels of performance that recognize accomplishment while pointing toward opportunities for improvement and continued learning.

What are people saying about the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards?

"The West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards will provide a better education for all students."

Terry Nelson, Randolph County Schools
Principal of Midland Elementary School

"The West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards have raised the bar in education to a higher level. This will help ensure a high level of student engagement and learning in the classroom.

Christine Ward, Tucker Valley Elementary
Fourth Grade Teacher

"Changing West Virginia's Professional Teaching Standards is an awesome and essential task. Change is always difficult, but if we don't change we will no longer be effective educators at any level.

Sue Hollandsworth, Marshall University Graduate College
Assistant to the Dean and Certification Officer

"The West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards will show that West Virginia teachers are providing quality instruction for the 21st century classroom."

Sandra Orr, West Virginia State University
Associate Professor and Chair of Education

"These standards are not just for new and younger teachers, but for those of us who have been in the field for many years. These standards are what we all should aspire to as professional educators

Valerie Roberts, Parkersburg South High School
Secondary Special Education Teacher

"The West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards are exciting! They give concrete descriptions that make it easier to understand the new look of a 21st Century teacher.

Marian Kaifez, RESA 6
Director of Programs

"Standards help teachers advance in their profession and distinguish themselves. They promote the idea that teachers do a great and important job every day."

Dale Lee, West Virginia Education Association

"Written by teachers on the frontlines, West Virginia's Professional Teaching Standards rank among the best in the country.

Judy Hale, American Federation of Teachers - West Virginia