If you could have mastery in one area, it would be…?

A revised teaching quality standard  (TQS) will be in place in Alberta in September 2019. The 6 areas in the standard, with a brief description, are:

  1. Fostering Effective Relationships
    1. builds positive and productive relationships
  2. Engaging in Career Long Learning
    1. professional learning and critical reflection
  3. Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
    1. planning, instructional strategies, assessment
  4. Establish Inclusive Learning Environments
    1. promotes and sustains inclusivity
  5. Applying Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Metis, and Inuit
    1. develops and applies foundational knowledge
  6. Adhering to Legal Frameworks and Policies
    1. understands and follows frameworks and policies

At my last school visit with my Assistant Superintendent we were discussing our school plan and instructional leadership and then he posed the following question:

If you were given the gift of mastery of one thing from TQS for all teachers that would make the biggest impact for students, what would this be?

In the grey, “it depends” world of education this can be a tough question. I went to the TQS and read through the areas and descriptors for each and then narrowed it down to two from the Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge section:

  • Instructional Strategies
    • engaging ALL learners
    • differentiation
  • Assessment
    • formative and summative
    • timely feedback

This is where I get stuck on which one I would choose. At the moment I lean towards Assessment as I am thinking about common grade learning outcomes and RTI strategies and frameworks. Yesterday, it was instructional strategies as I was thinking about differentiation for literacy and numeracy. Tomorrow, not sure which one it will be.

If you were posed the same question, how would you respond?

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