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Maine's Ten (10) Initial Teacher Certification Standards

student and teacher on computer


Demonstrates knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) s/he teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard.

The ability to:

  1. Use multiple representations and explanations of disciplinary concepts that capture key ideas and link them to students' prior learning.
  2. Evaluate teaching resources and curriculum materials for comprehensiveness, accuracy, usefulness and for representing particular ideas and concepts in clear and meaningful ways.
  3. Engage students in generating knowledge and testing hypotheses according to the methods of inquiry and standards of evidence used in the discipline.
  4. Model the use of the tools of the discipline through the inclusion of technology and create opportunities for students to practice the use of these tools.
  5. Incorporate knowledge of students' experiences in the planning, execution, and evaluation of learning experiences.
  6. Explain important principles and concepts delineated within their discipline and link them with professional, state and unit standards.



demonstrates the ability to integrate the concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures among the disciplines.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard.

The ability to:

  1. Create learning experiences in which students are required to construct knowledge and test hypotheses using the methods of inquiry and standards of evidence of multiple disciplines.
  2. Encourage students to recognize and respect the interdependence of all knowledge and ideas by combining and integrating knowledge of different disciplines.
  3. Pursue and acquire material and human resources in various disciplines for classroom use.


demonstrates knowledge of the diverse ways in which students develop and learn by providing learning opportunities that support students’ intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard. 

The ability to:

  1. Discern individual, student and group differences (e.g., intellectual, cultural, social).
  2. Support individual student’s physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development.
  3. Observe how students learn and thus ascertain different learning styles.
  4. Identify when and how to access appropriate services or resources to meet learner’s needs.
  5. Identify and design instruction appropriate to students’ stages of development, learning styles, strengths, and needs.
  6. Make appropriate provisions and adaptations for individual students who have particular learning differences or needs.
  7. Understand and make connections to students’ experiences and backgrounds in planning and implementing curriculum.
  8. Demonstrate understanding of and sensitivity to issues of diversity and equity during the design and assessment of instruction.


plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, and curriculum goals.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard. 

The ability to:

  1. Plan for learning opportunities that recognize and address variation in developmental level, learning styles, performance modes, and individual needs.
  2. Develop daily, weekly, and long-range lesson plans that are linked to student needs and performance, and adapt them to ensure that the plans capitalize on student progress and motivation.
  3. Demonstrate originality in lesson development within the parameters of the existing school curriculum.
  4. Articulate lesson goals and provide educationally and ethically defensible rationales for those goals.
  5. Plan collaboratively with colleagues on curriculum goals and frameworks both for the classroom and for schools.


understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies and appropriate technologies.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard. 

The ability to:

  1. Choose effective teaching strategies and materials to meet different learning goals and student needs.
  2. Use multiple teaching and learning strategies to engage students in active learning opportunities and to help students take responsibility for their own learning.
  3. Monitor and adjust strategies in response to learner feedback.
  4. Vary her or his role in the instructional process depending on the content, purposes, and student needs.
  5. Develop a variety of clear, accurate presentations and representations of concepts, using alternative explanations to assist students’ understanding and providing diverse perspectives to encourage critical thinking.
  6. Employ a wide range of questioning and discussion techniques that elicit responses at a variety of affective and cognitive levels.
  1. Use educational technology to broaden student knowledge about technology as well as to deliver instruction.
  2. Encourage all students to use technology and help them to access that technology.
  3. Provide students with strategies for evaluating the content encountered via technology (i.e., Internet, listservs).


creates and maintains a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard.

The ability to:

  1. Create a comfortable, well-organized physical environment.
  2. Establish a classroom climate of openness, mutual respect, support, and inquiry.
  3. Work with students to manage their own behaviors and assume responsibility for their own learning.
  4. Use principles of effective classroom organization.
  5. Use a variety of strategies to increase students’ desire and opportunity to learn.
  6. Create an environment in which students work both cooperatively and independently.


demonstrates the ability to support students’ learning and well being by engaging students, home, school, colleagues, and community.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard. 

The ability to:

  1. Advocate for students while respecting their privacy and right to confidentiality.
  2. Identify strategies to link school, home, and community to enhance student performance and well being.
  3. Describe ways to proactively develop partnerships with parents and guardians in support of students’ learning and well being.
  4. Recognize when it is appropriate to consult with other school professionals concerning a student’s learning or health.
  1. Describe ways to work with community agencies to foster student growth.
  2. Work with other school personnel, representatives of community agencies, and representatives of other professional and education organizations with the goal of supporting student learning and well being.


understands and uses a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and support the development of the learner.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard.

The ability to:

  1. Describe the purposes of assessment.
  2. Use a variety of formal and informal strategies to assess student outcomes.
  3. Match assessment strategies and instruments to Learning Results and program objectives.
  4. Use concepts of reliability, validity, and generalizability to design and improve high quality assessments.
  5. Employ a variety of assessment techniques to collect knowledge of learners, student learning progress, and program effectiveness.
  6. Use assessments and evaluation to modify teaching and learning strategies and for diagnostic purposes.
  7. Communicate responsibly and knowledgeably to students, parents, communities, and agencies about student achievement and program outcomes.
  8. Involve learners in self-assessment and goal setting for learning.
  9. Document learning using a variety of methods such as portfolios, school records, and other long-term indices of the multiple abilities of students.


demonstrates an awareness of and commitment to ethical and legal responsibilities of a teacher.  Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard.

The ability to:

  1. Maintain confidentiality concerning all dealings with students, parents, teachers, and school personnel.
  2. Adhere to a code of ethics that demonstrates an understanding of the laws that govern students’ rights and teacher responsibilities.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of situations which make one vulnerable to liability actions.  Demonstrate awareness of professional liability insurance and follow appropriate school and district procedures to avoid liability.
  4. Comply with school policies related to health and safety issues, such as administration of medication and reporting concerns of physical and sexual abuse.
  5. Adhere to affirmative action policies pertaining to school and classroom settings, interact with all students in an equitable manner.  He/she does not discriminate in employment, housing, or access to public accommodations on account of race, color, sex, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin; and, in employment, does not discriminate on account of age or because of the previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A; and, in education, does not discriminate on account of sex, or physical or mental disability.
  6. Understand how beliefs, values, traditions and requirements of various religious groups interact with school life (e.g., dietary restrictions, fasting, mandatory observance or non-observance of holidays, activities which are forbidden, expectations regarding gender relations, issues of deference); take religious diversity into account when planning and implementing lessons and activities.
  7. Understand the meaning of sexual harassment and how it impacts students and staff, and assist students in understanding the meaning of sexual harassment, how to avoid harassing others, and what to do if they feel harassed.
  8. Treat others with respect, and honor the dignity of all people.
  9. Document incidents which may have legal or ethical implications.
  10. Take appropriate steps to obtain and maintain professional certification/licensure.
  11. Recognize and demonstrate appropriate use of language in the classroom (i.e., avoid profanity, name-calling, racial slurs, etc).


demonstrates a strong professional ethic and a desire to contribute to the education profession. Candidate performance demonstrating the following capabilities informs this standard.

The ability to:

  1. Be an active, contributing member of work teams and committees.
  2. Participate in staff development opportunities and training sessions and apply information and strategies gained as a result of those experiences to his/her own teaching.
  3. Utilize information gained from reading professional journals.
  4. Apply information gathered during attendance at professional conferences.
  5. Develop associations with organizations dedicated to learning.
  6. Reflect upon and strengthens his/her teaching by evaluating (alone and with colleagues) lessons taught and making appropriate improvements.
  7. Stay abreast of and employ new teaching strategies and technologies.
  8. Develop and implement a personal development plan to enhance his/her professional growth.
  9. Maintain a professional demeanor and recognize the teacher’s role as a model for students.
  10. Work with colleagues to achieve school and district goals and to address problems in the school.