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Standard 8.1: Self-assessment and individual learning plans

Program leadership, program partners, and all stakeholders ensure that mentors use formative assessment tools collaboratively with beginning teachers for initial self-assessment and development of individual learning plans to guide weekly visits and determine the scope, focus, and content of professional development activities.

Reflection about teaching practice is critical to the growth of all teachers, and beginning teachers in particular. Thus, program leadership should create and implement a systematic approach that ensures regular beginning teacher self-assessment and the development of an individual learning plan focused on one’s own practice. Mentor teacher feedback should relate back to the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (e.g., how the beginning teacher made content meaningful to students, motivated individuals/groups, encouraged positive social interaction, etc.). Ways to conduct these formative assessment sessions include the following:

  • Reflective activities (e.g., mentor/beginning-teacher conversations, journaling, post observations, mentor feedback, etc.)
  • Analysis of student work
  • Review of beginning teacher lesson plans
  • Observations of the beginning teacher by a mentor
  • Beginning teacher observations of a mentor and/or experienced teachers
  • Action research conducted by mentors and beginning teachers
  • Formative assessment tools, such as the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching or the Illinois Continuum of Teacher Development (ICTD) (password-protected)
  • Feedback from data-driven classroom observations, or viewing of video and/or audio-recorded lessons
  • Formative assessment data from formal teacher evaluations (if the beginning teacher chooses to share that information)
  • Development of an individual professional growth plan as a formative assessment tool between the mentor and beginning teacher

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