of Teacher Development describes teaching
practice and professional development throughout a teacher's career.
For nearly two decades, the Continuum has been implemented
successfully as part of ongoing collaborations between beginning teachers
and their mentors or coaches to assess practice and set goals for professional
development over time.
The Continuum is aligned with six professional teaching
standards (each containing specific elements of teaching practice)
and is organized to describe five developmental levels of performance: Beginning,
Emerging, Applying, Integrating and Innovating. The levels do
not represent a chronological sequence in a teacher's growth,
but rather developmental levels of performance. One might
expect a beginning teacher to assess at “Beginning” level and it would
not be viewed as a deficit position. And, a teacher may be at a beginning
or emerging level of practice in some places on the Continuum and
at advanced levels in some others, no matter how many years she or
he has been in the profession.
The Continuum is meant as a guide for self-reflection,
self-assessment and conversation among beginning teachers, mentors
and site administrators, helping teachers to interpret their teaching
and make informed decisions about their ongoing development as professionals.
It is not a
rubric to define performance standards or expectations, nor is it an
isolated observation instrument. In the New Teacher Center 's Formative
Assessment System (FAS) the Continuum serves as the entry
point for developing an Individual Learning Plan in which
teachers identify and work towards professional goals. It has proven
to be a powerful tool as teachers identify their areas of growth, move
from assistance to autonomy and become lifelong learners.
An accompanying guidebook, Using the Continuum of Teacher Development, provides
mentors with information on how to use the Continuum to support teacher