Competency Seven

The educational professional uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages personal growth, positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Effective educators use and support a range of strategies to make learning purposeful by relating lessons to students’ interests, allowing students to make choices in their learning and leading them to ask questions and pursue problems meaningful to them.  The classroom and school environment is safe, warm, positive and supportive of student independence and success; the premises are organized so that resources, space and time support individual and group instruction, educational activities, and are designed so that children are actively involved in learning. 

Effective educational professionals understand how social groups function and influence people, and how people influence groups.  They recognize factors and situations that are likely to promote or diminish intrinsic motivation; they value the role of students in promoting each other’s learning and recognize the importance of peer relationships.  Effective educational professionals and leaders create communities in which students assume responsibility for themselves and for one another, participate in decision-making, and work collaboratively and independently. Professional educators know how to help students acquire cooperative group skills.

Effective educational professionals maximize the amount of class time spent in learning by creating expectations for communication, mutually agreed upon standards of respectful behavior and a physical setting conducive to classroom goals.  Effective educational professionals see themselves as managers and facilitators of classroom life rather than authority figures.  They are able to help students understand why desired behavior is important through abundant personal interactions. Finally, effective teachers handle classroom and individual student discipline fairly, consistently and effectively. Effective school professionals and leaders support and encourage these characteristics and provide opportunities for teachers and others in the school community to grow, learn, and improve.