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.