The Learning Environment & T-TESS

Moving from Proficient to Distinguished in 3.2 and 3.3

Today's Agenda

  1. Review the Learning Environment Domain of the T-TESS Rubric
  2. Review the Texas Teacher Standards
  3. Unpack Dimensions 3.2 and 3.3
  4. Learn Strategies to Move from Proficient to Accomplished and/or Distinguished
  5. Read Q & A for Potential Questions
  6. Access Resources

View the T-TESS Rubric Word Bank

Preview the T-TESS Rubric Word Bank below. Notice the difference in the adjectives, as you move from the right (Improvement Needed) to the left (Distinguished).
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Click the link below to review Dimensions 3.2 and 3.3 of the Learning Environment Domain.
Click the link below to review the Texas Teacher Standards.


Click the link below to review the Texas Teacher Standards.

Read 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4D for Dimension 3.2.

Read 1E, 1F, 3B, 4C, 4D, 5A, 5B, and 5D for Dimension 3.3.

Dimension 3.2 Managing Student Behavior

The teacher establishes, communicates and maintains clear expectations for student behavior.

Standards Basis (Texas Teacher Standards)

4A, 4B, 4C, 4D

View Video for Unpacking Dimension 3.2


Involve Students in Creating Agreements

Use the word Agreements (or Norms) rather than Rules. Involving students in creating the Agreements shows that you respect and value their opinions. It creates buy-in and support and helps clarify their collective values and understandings. Expectations are set to guide individuals' behavior.

Post Your Agreements on the Wall.

Make a poster of your Agreements. Make flyers, and send home. Better yet, have the students create them for you!

Try out Poster My Wall for free!


Take the time to do activities to TEACH your norms! Make sure students understand specifically what each one means.

Have students work in groups to complete a Looks Like/Sounds Like/Feels Like chart for each of their Norms/Agreements. Share with the whole class.

End with a Reflection Activity, such as, "I like our classroom Agreements because..."

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Teach Like a Champion: Getting everyone's attention in class

Dimension 3.3 Classroom Culture

The teacher leads a mutually respectful and collaborative class of actively engaged learners.

Standards Basis (Texas Teacher Standards)

1E, 1F, 3B, 4C, 4D, 5A, 5B, 5D

View Video for Unpacking Dimension 3.3


Student Ownership

Enlist the help of your students in implementing and monitoring them. Invite your students to make reference to the Agreements if another student is interrupting their learning.

Reinforce the Positive!

Use Caught Being Good Tickets, or other reinforcers to emphasize the positive behaviors your class has agreed upon.

Let the Classroom Helper give out Tickets, or other incentives.

Reflection Questions

Content: Why is important to involve students in developing or customizing the norms?

Collaborative: How did it feel to receive statements?

Q & A: What if Students Quit Following Our Norms?


Just like any learning objectives, desired behaviors must be taught, reinforced, practiced, and applied!

Q & A: How Will My T-TESS Appraiser Know Students Collaborated on Norms?

Tell him/her!

During your Pre-Observation Conference, share with your appraiser how students were involved in the development of the agreed-upon Norms for your classroom.

Have your Norms posted on the wall.

Model for your classes, by making reference to the agreed-upon Norms when you redirect a student.

Remind students to hold each other accountable to the Norms, and teach them to also make reference to your Norms.

Q & A: What if My Appraiser Disagrees with Me?

The post-conference is a two-way communication between you and your appraiser. Evidence will be collected prior to and during the observation will to determine the Proficiency Level for the lesson.

Additional evidence may be provided during the post-conference. If you are not in agreement, you may request another observation from a different appraiser.

In most instances, it will be obvious to both of you where the evidence connects or is anchored to the rubric.

3-2-1 Reflection Questions

Reflect on these questions. Record your responses to question #2 on the Padlet below.

  1. What are three things you learned?
  2. What was two things you are still curious about?
  3. What is one thing you will implement when you get back?