Competencies and Continua for Teachers
The Building 21 Teacher Competencies were designed specifically for the Building 21 Competency Framework and learning model. Schools that adopt these competencies should modify the language to meet their needs.
The full version is available to our partner schools but you can access a preview here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
What is the purpose of the teacher competencies? The teacher competencies are designed to articulate the skills and mindsets necessary for our teachers to succeed in an innovative school where relationships are the foundation and designing competency-based, personalized, engaging, and impactful learning experiences for students is the context through which we can prepare our students for success in our world today. In order for innovation and change to be successful, we must first start with ourselves—the adults who are leading the change. We must do the personal and professional work required to persevere through the challenges and setbacks we will inevitably face. As we try to reimagine school, we must embrace the mindset that we are all lifelong learners.
How should the teacher competencies be used? The teacher competencies are meant to be used as a coaching, goal-setting, and self-reflection tool for teachers. We are thinking that instead of teachers rating themselves just on a level, it would be more interesting to rate at the indicator level, more like a checklist. This would allow us to track growth at the indicator level, as it is possible to be working on different levels of indicators within a skill. It would also be interesting to collect teachers’ self-reported data on the indicators in which our teachers rate themselves both high and low. This data could inform PD, Summer Design Institute sessions, resource development, etc.
How do the levels work? The levels (Novice, Developing, Proficient, Expert/Mentor) are meant to describe where you are in doing this work and should not be equated to years of teaching. A teacher who has been teaching for 15 years but has never done restorative practices or designed instruction for impact will be a novice in those areas. And that is how it should be. Honest and transparent assessment allows schools to design and differentiate professional development opportunities to support all teachers in their personal and professional growth.