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The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) is a system designed by educators to support teachers in their professional growth.

What is T-TESS?

T-TESS strives to capture the holistic nature of teaching – the idea that a constant feedback loop exists between teachers and students, and gauging the effectiveness of teachers requires a consistent focus on how students respond to their teacher’s instructional practices. For those reasons, each of the observable domains in T-TESS focuses on teachers and students rather than separating them out into separate domains. Ultimately, T-TESS is a process that seeks to develop habits of continuous improvement, and the process itself best leads to that outcome when appraisers and teachers focus on evidence-based feedback and professional development decisions based on that feedback through ongoing dialogue and collaboration.

T-TESS includes three components:

  • Goal-setting and professional development plan
  • The evaluation cycle (including: pre-conference, observation, post-conference)
  • Student growth measure

The T-TESS Rubric

The T-TESS Rubric includes 4 Domains and 16 Dimensions. T-TESS domain and dimension rubrics include specific descriptors of practices and 5 performance levels; Distinguished, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, and Improvement Needed.

Planning

  • Standards and Alignment
  • Data and Assessment
  • Knowledge of Students
  • Activities

Instruction

  • Achieving Expectations
  • Content Knowledge and Expertise
  • Communication
  • Differentiation
  • Monitor and Adjust

Learning Environment

  • Classroom Environment, Routines and Procedures
  • Managing Student Behavior
  • Classroom Culture

Professional Practices and Responsibilities

  • Professional Demeanor and Ethics
  • Goal Setting
  • Professional Development
  • School Community Involvement

Teachers

The purpose of the teacher’s role during this process is to share insights and think about his or her pedagogy and professional practices. A goal of the evaluation process is to include the teacher in a systematic way that assists with individualized professional growth and development.

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Appraisers

The appraiser has a vital role in assessing teaching proficiency and ensuring that teachers and administrators derive reliable and meaningful information from the teacher evaluation process. By providing evidence-based feedback, appraisers help teachers and administrators make decisions that support efforts to improve instructional quality and student performance.

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Districts

Involving district-level leaders in T-TESS implementation ensures that T-TESS becomes a process for education innovation. Successful implementation hinges on collaboration within and among departments and a deepened commitment to growth-centered supervision of instruction and capacity building throughout the organization.

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Educator Preparation Programs

The Texas Education Agency has created 2 training programs for Educator Preparation Programs; the Field Supervisor Observation Training for Teacher Certification Candidates, and the Field Supervisor Coaching Training for Advanced Certification Candidates.

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