As teacher educators, we recognize that all teachers develop over time and cannot be expected to achieve teaching mastery in their first or second year in the classroom. Our emerging definition of teacher effectiveness is therefore specific to beginning  teachers as they exit our preparation programs and enter their early career as teachers. 

We understand “teacher effectiveness” as an umbrella term comprising both teaching quality  and teaching impact .

Quality is a measure of competence, good teaching practice, professional commitment, employment, and retention. It may include some combination of teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions in their everyday work with students and colleagues as well as other data on career success.

Impact is a measure of P‐12 student outcomes. It may include some combination of measures of achievement and growth, engagement, attendance, behavior, citizenship, social and emotional learning, or longer‐term outcomes such as college matriculation or employment. These outcomes reflect the multiple purposes of schooling, which may vary widely from school to school and from community to community.

Underlying this two‐part definition is an assumption that high‐quality teaching leads to positive student outcomes. Due to multiple confounding variables, the relationship between teaching quality and impact is difficult to measure. Using multiple measures of both quality and impact affords us a more nuanced understanding of our graduates’ work with students than assessing either aspect alone. 

Of course, quality teaching does not guarantee student learning (if only it were that easy!). Students play an active role in interpreting, internalizing, and responding to their teachers’ instruction. We understand P-12 student engagement ‐ or student commitment to and involvement in learning ‐ as an important mediator in the relationship between teaching quality and impact. Student engagement is influenced by the context of family, peers, community, and school. Teachers play a significant role in influencing student engagement through their relationships with students and through the relevance and rigor of their instruction.

Beginning Teacher Effectiveness Framework

Quality Indicators

P-12 Student Engagement

Impact Indicators

  • Based on values/consensus
  • What teachers do in the classroom, school, and community

  • Based on school or district determined measures
  • How students mediate classroom instruction to support their learning and achievement

  • Based on school or district determined expectations
  • What P‐ 12 students learn and do in response to schooling experiences