Wisconsin State Teaching Standards

Instructor: Jessica Keys
Are you preparing to earn your Wisconsin teaching license, or just wondering if teaching is the career for you? If so, check out this article to learn more about Wisconsin's teaching standards and their role in the licensing process.

Teaching in Wisconsin: The Basics

If your goal is to teach in Wisconsin's public school system, you'll first have to undergo a licensure process designed to measure your competence in the pedagogical skill and knowledge areas encapsulated by the state's ten Teacher Standards. There are different types of teaching licenses, varying by subject and grade level. However, on the most general level, the initial state licensing requirements for most potential educators include:

  • A bachelor's degree (minimum)
  • Passing scores on subject area tests, depending on what you intend to teach; Wisconsin uses Praxis II for most teacher candidates
  • Phonics training (for early childhood, elementary-level and reading educators)
  • The successful completion of a preparation program that satisfies any applicable state requirements

After receiving your temporary (five-year) initial educator's license, the Teacher Standards will also be used to guide your ongoing development. In order to be eligible for a professional educator's license, you must be regularly employed for three years and complete a Professional Development Plan (PDP). A PDP can be considered as a sort of evaluation and road map for your professional goals, and it must focus on at least two of the following educator standards for teachers.

The Ten Teacher Standards

As a teacher in Wisconsin's public school system, you must…

  1. ...know the subject(s) you're teaching. Knowing the ins and outs of your subject means you can craft the most meaningful educational experience for your students.
  2. ...understand child growth and development. This means you can instruct at the most appropriate level for your students, while understanding that your students will represent a range of abilities and developmental stages.
  3. ...recognize learning differences. No two learners are alike, so you can't always take a ''one size fits all'' approach in the classroom. As a teacher, you adapt your teaching methods to take into account the needs of all students, from students with disabilities to students who are gifted.
  4. …know how to teach. You understand and use all the pedagogical strategies and tools at your disposal, including the latest technology, to help your students become active thinkers and problem solvers.
  5. ...be familiar with classroom management strategies. You create a positive and productive space for learning, motivating your students to get involved as individuals and in groups.
  6. ...communicate well. Your classroom is full of effective communication, as you use many different methods (verbal, non-verbal, use of media and technology) to inform, interact and cooperate.
  7. ...plan a variety of lesson types. You organize and plan your lessons based on curriculum goals as well as the needs and abilities of your students. You also use your knowledge of your community (field trips, anyone?) as well as your own knowledge of the subject at hand.
  8. ...understand how to measure student progress. Testing may be formal or informal; either way, you know how to keep tabs on the ongoing development of your students, whether it's academic, social or physical.
  9. ...be able to evaluate yourself. You take time to reflect on your performance and progress as well as the quality of your interaction with students, parents, coworkers and peers. While continuing education is a requirement for maintaining a license, you actively work towards honing your skills and professional aptitude.
  10. ...connect with your fellow teachers and with your community. Not only do you take the time to build a meaningful relationship with your classroom, you afford the same attention to parents, coworkers, colleagues and the community at large.

For more information on how these standards are involved in the licensure process and Professional Development Plans, be sure to check out the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (dpi.wi.gov).

Thinking About Teaching?

Are you currently an education undergrad, enrolled in a post-baccalaureate prep program, or simply wondering if education is the right career path for you? Maybe you're a current teacher in the process of creating a PDP.

Let Study.com help you achieve your professional goals! Whether you're getting started with the a Foundations of Education course or looking for some good Teacher Professional Development resources, our large selection of online courses are available for you anywhere, any time.

If you're gearing up for the Praxis II exams, we also have study guides in many subjects, including:

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