P. O. BOX 2120



June 27, 2008



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



The Board of Education Approved the Virginia Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers


The Virginia Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers were developed as a result of a recommendation from the Committee to Enhance the K-12 Teaching Profession in Virginia. The development of the teaching standards by a task force of educators, representing all regions within the state, was an initiative supported by the Governor's Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant. The standards, approved as a guidance document by the Board of Education on May 21, 2008, may be accessed at the following website:

The standards are intended as a resource for the implementation of the Board of Education's performance standards criteria. The performance evaluation standards are defined in The Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents. The standards are designed to provide a conceptual model of good teaching. They represent the knowledge and skills that are common to all teachers from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Teachers need to know what will be expected of them and how they will be evaluated. The standards will assist teachers to reflect on student learning and teaching and to develop professional development plans to improve teaching practice. The standards are not intended to describe the performance of beginning teachers, but rather, they are intended to guide the development of all teachers throughout their careers as they continually seek to improve their practice.


The Virginia Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers are presented in two sections: Standards for the Professional Practice of All Teachers and the Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers in Specific Disciplines and Specialized Areas. The Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers in Specific Disciplines and Specialized Areas include standards and key elements for teachers of English; history and social science; mathematics; science; career and technical education; English as a Second Language; fine arts; foreign language; health, physical, and driver education; and special education. The standards are organized around the following six interrelated categories of teaching practices.


                     Knowledge of Students;

                     Knowledge of Content;

                     Planning, Delivery, and Assessment of Instruction;

                     Safe, Effective Learning Environment;

                     Communication and Collaboration; and



To provide further guidance to teachers as they define and develop their practice around the standards, the task force created two supplemental documents. Supplemental

Document A uses an inquiry approach to foster ongoing reflection and insights into teaching through questions that encourage teachers to examine key aspects of teaching within each standard. Supplemental Document B provides examples of the knowledge, skills, actions, and attitudes exhibited by teachers who are meeting each standard.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 371‑2522.