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.

The Evaluation Process

The T-TESS System observation cycle includes a pre-conference, observation and post-conference, as the recommended cycle for supporting teachers. During the observation, appraisers capture detailed, strategically-scripted evidence and use this evidence in conjunction with the T-TESS dimensions and descriptors of the rubric to determine performance levels.

Goal-Setting and Professional Development Plan

The Evaluation Cycle (pre-conference, observation, post-conference)

Student Growth Measure

The T-TESS Rubric

The T-TESS Rubric consists of 4 Domains and 16 Dimensions, each with specific descriptors and 5 performance levels: Distinguished, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, and Improvement Needed.

T-TESS Rubric T-TESS Rubric
T-TESS Rubric Cover


Domain 1
  • Standards and Alignment
  • Data and Assessment
  • Knowledge of Students
  • Activities


Domain 2
  • Achieving Expectations
  • Content Knowledge and Expertise
  • Communication
  • Differentiation
  • Monitor and Adjust

Learning Environment

Domain 3
  • Classroom Environment, Routines and Procedures
  • Managing Student Behavior
  • Classroom Culture

Professional Practices and Responsibilities

Domain 4
  • Professional Demeanor and Ethics
  • Goal Setting
  • Professional Development
  • School Community Involvement

Calibration and Professional Growth

Advance your instruction and gain additional insight into the T-TESS appraisal process with a calibration training module, ESC provided trainings, and a collection of classroom lesson examples- at various grade levels- along with T-TESS rater scores to promote better calibration.

Calibration Training Module

Calibration Training Module is designed to be used for appraiser calibrations and professional development.

T-TESS Appraiser Calibration Training by ESCs

The T-TESS Appraiser Calibration Training is designed to provide participants with a deeper dive into the calibration process, allowing users to engage in multiple calibration opportunities using the T-TESS rubric and two different protocols.

Calibration Video Lessons

These lessons are designed to be used for appraiser calibrations and professional development to highlight and improve performance on each of the T-TESS domains/dimensions at both the teacher and appraiser levels.

Ready to become a certified T-TESS Appraiser?

Contact your local ESC to view upcoming training dates and details