Intern Professional Standards

Interns in the Teacher Certification Program are mindful of their ethical and professional commitments to all students and their learning.

Interns understand how children learn and develop, how they differ in their approaches to learning, and how their behavior is influenced by context and culture. Understanding the preconceptions and background knowledge that each student brings to the learning of any discipline, interns provide learning opportunities that support all students' personal construction of knowledge. Equally important, they foster students' self-esteem, motivation, character, civic responsibility and their respect for differences. They treat students equitably and adjust their practice based on observation and knowledge of their students' interests, abilities, skills, knowledge, family circumstances, and peer relationships.

Interns know the subjects they teach and how to contextualize those subjects in thoughtful and innovative professional practice.

Interns plan their instruction based on their knowledge of subject matter, their students, the community, and curriculum goals. They have a rich understanding of the subjects they teach and the State's Essential Academic Learning Requirements as well as an appreciation of how these are linked to other disciplines and real world settings. They recognize that students construct their own knowledge, and this, in combination with an understanding of individual students, supports them in adapting their instruction to best further students' learning by planning tasks that are meaningful and culturally relevant. Finally, the interns' instruction supports local curriculum goals and the development of students' critical thinking, performance and problem solving skills.

Interns are responsible for creating classroom communities that optimize learning opportunities for diverse students.

Interns create, enrich, maintain, and alter instructional settings to provide rich opportunities for learning, aimed at eliminating the achievement gap between white and racial and ethnic minority students. Interns understand how to motivate students to learn and how to maintain their interest even in the face of temporary failure. They know how to engage groups of students to ensure a disciplined learning environment, and are adept at setting norms for social interaction among students and between students and teachers. They employ multiple methods for measuring and evaluating student growth and understanding to ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of each learner. These methods include both formal and informal assessment strategies for individual students as well as the class as a whole. Interns know how to organize instruction to allow the schools' goals for students to be met and can clearly explain student performance to parents.

Interns think carefully about their practice and reflect upon their own learning as well as that of their students.

Interns draw on their knowledge of human development, subject matter and pedagogy to make principled judgments about sound practice. Using critical thinking, problem solving, and self-assessment, they are thoughtful about their own learning and can therefore be more thoughtful about the learning of their students. Grounding decisions in their own experience as well as in the literature, they strive to strengthen their teaching by expanding their repertoire, deepening their knowledge, sharpening their judgment, and adapting their teaching to new ideas. As they continually evaluate the effects of their choices and actions on others, they exemplify the virtues they seek to inspire in students' curiosity, tolerance, honesty, fairness, and respect for diversity.

Interns participate in intellectual and professional communities that celebrate diversity.

Interns work collaboratively with colleagues, recognizing the interdependence of the intellectual and geographical communities and the importance of professional collaboration with national and international organizations. They recognize that schooling in a democracy involves learning to thrive within ideological diversity as well as ethnic and class diversity. Knowledgeable about specialized school and community resources, they work with school staff, parents, and community services to support the well being and success of their students as well as their own emerging beliefs and ideals.