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6 Elements of Effective Teaching to Include in Teacher Evaluation Tools

Northwest | June 22, 2023

Does your teacher evaluation tool include these six key elements of effective teaching?

Effective teachers improve student outcomes, both academic and behavioral. Below we summarize six, research-based elements of effective teaching.

1) Preparation and planning
Effective teachers:

    Elements of Effective Teaching

    Publication Cover

    REL Northwest, through its Ask an Expert service, summarized research on key elements of effective teaching and described how those elements align with professional practice measures used in various teacher evaluation tools. Download the resource.

  • possess and apply their specialized knowledge of learning environments and essential content.
  • plan lessons that align with learning standards and guidelines that support student learning.
  • use high-quality curriculum and instructional materials that align with rigorous academic standards.

2) Professionalism and collaboration

Effective teachers:

  • engage in high-quality professional learning, which contributes to growth in knowledge and practice that leads to increases in student outcomes.
  • communicate regularly with students and their families and forge stronger student-teacher relationships.
  • collaborate with colleagues during and after professional development.

3) Classroom management
Effective teachers: 

  • create a motivating and supportive classroom culture that builds positive relationships and community to increase student engagement, motivation, and learning.
  • use universal classroom management approaches that supports pro-social behavior and reduces inappropriate behavior.
  • meet students' needs by anticipating when they may need support and designing culturally responsive learning opportunities.

4) Teacher expectations
Effective teachers:

  • adopt interventions to increase teacher expectations for students, which raises teacher expectations and student achievement.
  • maintain high expectations for every student because low expectations can become self-fulfilling prophecies that disproportionately hurt students of color.

5) Instructional delivery
Effective teachers:

  • use multiple evidence-based instructional strategies to increase instructional quality and student academic outcomes.
  • design instruction based on students' diverse needs, which improves academic outcomes.

6) Assessment and feedback
Effective teachers:

  • use formative assessment, the process that collects evidence of student learning and modifies instruction in response to assessment feedback.
  • provide a combination of both positive and performance gap feedback, which student achievement.

Teachers who incorporate each of these six elements into their teaching are more effective as measured by student outcomes. For more details on the research, see REL Northwest's Ask an Expert resource, Elements of Effective Teaching.


Anne Porterfield

Anne Porterfield

Ione Heigham

Ione Heigham

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