Evolution of a professional

23rd June 2000 at 01:00
HayMcBer's guide to milestones in the development of an effective teacher

How to read the table

This table shows the 16 characteristics - in five groups - that describe teaching ability. For each characteristic, it sets out key questions and defines milestones against which teachers can measure their progress.

The levels that most professionals and advanced skills teachers should reach are marked (see key).


1 to 5 - levels of achievement

in each area, with one being the lowest

* - teachers on the main professional grade should be at this level

H - advanced skills teachers ("superteachers") should be at this level

t - threshold, teachers should be at this level to qualify for performance-related higher pay

What level should you aim for?

THE combination of characteristics which the report says are needed to be a main grade teacher, to cross the threshold and to be an advanced skills teacher are set out below. Teachers do not have to meet the relevant standard in every characteristic.

Where possible, the requirements are arranged according to the five groups of characteristics (relating to others, leading, thinking, professionalism and planningsetting expectations).

A teacher needs to hit the level indicated by the appropriate symbol in the following:

Advanced skills teacher (H):

Thinking - 1 out of 2 characteristics (plus level 2 in the other);

Relating to others - 2 out of 3; Leading - 2 out of 4

Planningsetting expectations - 2 out of 3; Professionalism - 3 out

of 4 (must include "challenge and support" and "respect for others")

Threshold (t):

Thinking - 2 out of 2; Relating to others - 1 out of 3; Leading - 2

out of 4; Professionalism and Planningsetting expectations - 5 out

of 7 (must include "respect for others" and "challenge and support")

Main grade teacher (l):

Thinking - 2 out of 2; Leading - 2 out of 4; one of "impact and

influence" and "teamworking"; two from "confidence", "creating

trust", "initiative" and "information seeking". All the following:

"respect for others"; "challenge and support"; "understanding

others"; "drive for improvement"


Analytical Thinking

Can the teacher analyse situations and data in a logical way?

1 Breaks problems into key parts. 2 Can analyse reasons for, and implications of, actions. Prioritises. Makes clear plans. lt

3 Considers and analyses different possibilities. H

Conceptual Thinking

Can the teacher recognise patterns and concepts, apply models of best practice and create new ideas and approaches?

1 Uses common sense to resolve problems.

2 Sees patternsin behaviour and performance data. lt

3 Creatively applies, learning theory and best practice. H

4 Finds creative ways to explain complex matters in simple terms.


Drive for Improvement

Does the teacher strive constantly to raise pupil achievement and surpass challenging targets?

1 Thoroughly plans, delivers and evaluates lessons. Keeps records. Is dissatisfied when prevented from doing a good job.

2 Measures lessons against own standards in order to improve. l

3 Creates improvements by accomplishing something better, quicker or more effectively. t

4 Sets and aims for challenging targets for pupils and self. H

Information Seeking

Does the teacher seek out information from a range of sources?

1 Asks direct questions to get a first-hand understanding. l

2 Gets to the root of things by asking incisive questions.t

3 Does in-depth research to find out about a particular issue.

4 Uses own systems to gather and store useful information. H


Does the teacher have a bias for action, and does he or she think ahead to anticipate and act on future needs and opportunities?

1 Acts immediately to seize opportunities and tackle problems as they occur.

2 Is decisive in a crisis. Defuses potential conflicts. l

3 Thinks and acts ahead to seize an opportunity or sort out a problem. tH

4 Anticipates and prepares for possible problems or opportunities that are not obvious to others.



Can the teacher be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances?

1 Willing to try out new ideas.

2 Makes sensible alterations to normal procedures to achieve an objective. l

3 Changes tack. Takes advantage of unexpected events and weaves them into the lesson. Deviates from plan if pupils show particular interest.tH

Holding People Accountable

Does the teacher set out clear expectations for others and hold people accountable for performance?

1 Says clearly what behaviour and standards are expected from pupils, colleagues and self.

2 Sets clear limits on behaviour and what can be done to support learning. l

3 Challenges pupils to meet standards, and tells them when work is not good enough. t

4 Confronts poor performance and takes decisive action to ensure recovery. H

Managing Pupils

Does the teacher manage pupils to work together effectively and achieve high performance levels?

1 Quickly gets pupils on task, beginning lessons by stating objectives. Instructs clearly and focuses pupils' attention.

2 Makes sure pupils understand why they are doing something. Describes how the activity fits into a programme of work. l

3 Makes class effective by getting the right pupils working together on appropriate things. t

4 Takes actions on behalf of class - for example by going out of hisher way to get materials H

5 Ensures the class and groups fully achieve their objectives at all times. Establishes a positive, upbeat atmosphere.

Passion for Learning

Does the teacher demonstrate a passion for helping pupils to learn, and act to facilitate this?

1 Effectively uses range of stimuli that appeal to the different ways pupils learn.

2 Demonstrates how something is done. Shows what success looks like. Asks questions to check understanding.

3 Provides each pupil with stimulating opportunities to practise and take on new knowledge and skills. lt

4 Gets pupils to work out answers for themselves by asking challenging and appropriate questions. H

5 Motivates pupils to learn independently and direct their own learning.


Impact and Influence

Does the teacher use vivid actions and deliberate influencing strategies to persuade pupils and other adults to produce desired outcomes?


1 Uses facts and figures and logical argument to persuade others.

2 Takes varying actions to persuade others. l

3 Plans appealing lesson and makes it vivid or memorable. Manages pace and uses rewards to maximise impact of lesson. t

4 Influences others - including parents and other pupils - to support learning. H


Does the teacher work effectively with others to achieve shared goals for pupils and the school?

1 Helps and supports colleagues and parents.

2 Keeps colleagues informed and shares good ideas. Communicates effectively with parents about their children's progress.

3 Asks colleagues, parents and others for opinions and ideas. Asks for feedback on hisher own work. l

4 Builds team spirit. tH

Understanding Others

Is the teacher aware of what others are feeling and thinking? Does he or she understand the meaning of, and reasons for, other people's behaviour?

1 Is sensitive to pupils' body language.

2 Understands significance of the behaviour of pupils and others. l

3 Can objectively and accurately assess others' strengths and weaknesses. tH


Challenge and Support

Are the teacher's actions based on the desire for each pupil to attain high levels of achievement?

1 Cares for the pupil. Does not tolerate bullying and tackles it immediately.

2 Builds self-esteem in pupils by, for example, setting tasks which will allow them to succeed.l

3 Strives for the best possible outcomes, even when the going gets tough. tH

4 Challenges others to bring about the best outcome for all pupils.


Does the teacher believe in his or her own ability to succeed, and does he or she rise to challenges?

1 Expresses optimism and confidence in own ability.

2 Contributes positively, giving personal views in staff meetings and in meetings with parents.l

3 States confidence in him or herself as a professional.t

4 Rises to challenges. Takes on new or difficult challenges willingly and positively. Challenges others, including senior colleagues when appropriate. Expresses confidence in ability to succeed against the odds. H

Creating Trust

Can you depend on the teacher to accomplish what he or she has agreed to do? Is he or she consistent and fair?

1 Makes clear commitments and honours these.

2 Acts fairly and consistently. Applies rewards and sanctions consistently. l

3 Lives up to what he or she professes to believe. Avoids giving mixed messages by saying one thing and doing another. tH

4. Lives up to professed beliefs even when it is difficult to do so.

Respect for Others

Does the teacher show respect and consideration for others?

1 Actively listens to pupils and others. Does not interrupt. Shows interest.

2 Values others. Shows pupils or others that they are valued as individuals, and for what they contribute.

3 Values pupils even when they do something unacceptable lt

4 Encourages pupils and others to value each other when there are differences of view and background. H

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