T-TESS Overview for Texas Teachers-Plus a Free Downloadable Handbook!

We're counting down the days to the beginning of the school year! We've been at school for inservice the past few days and today was a big one: T-TESS Preparation. 

If you are a teacher in the great state of Texas, you will know what we're talking about. T-TESS stands for The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System. It's the latest program to monitor and evaluate teacher and student progress in the classroom. 

Read on to the end to learn how to get our FREE Handbook we made just for our fellow Texas teachers!

Want more helpful hints from even more people? Join the T-TESS Teacher Help Group on Facebook!

Here's a basic overview

It's a way to literally map the feedback loop between teacher and student. It helps teachers gauge the effectiveness of their teaching strategies by measuring the growth and rate of learning their students have. 

The three main components are

  • Goal-setting and professional development
  • The evaluation cycle
  • Student growth measure

Here's a summary of the TEA's August 2016 T-TESS Tips

  • Culture is everything. If your district does not take on a positive, progressive point of view about the continual improvement via T-TESS, the program will most likely not succeed
  • Setting the standard at the beginning of the year will make or break the program
  • Collaboration, reflection and professional growth should be the goals, as well as the ideal outcomes, of this program
  • Goals should be specific and actionable
  • Goals should include the strategic and tactical aspects of reaching them. How will you accomplish this? How will we know when this is accomplished?
  • Overall evaluations will be done at the end of the year and will set the standards for improvement for the following year

Here are my tips as a teacher with 25 years of experience

  • Get in the habit of being organized! I myself fall into the trap of "I'll do that tomorrow" when school gets going and things get hectic. Really try to do yourself a favor and stay organized with this.
  • Keep this process in mind while developing lesson plans. It would probably be wise to also be thinking a few steps ahead in terms of class activities, tests and evaluations of your students.
  • Work with other teachers! A clearly stated goal of this program is to increase collaboration, so take advantage of that. Work with fellow teachers to discuss and map out methods and tactics for T-TESS success.
  • Work with your administration, not against it. 
  • I would suggest printing out the T-TESS Rubric and having it around for easy reference.

Here are all the documents and resources you may need in this transition 

Teacher Goal Setting and Professional Development (GSPD) Plan Process Overview

Student Learning Objectives Process Overview

Teacher Standards

T-TESS Rubric

T-TESS Guidebook

Measures of Student Growth Document

Campus Phase-In Guide

TEA Website

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We'll be posting continual updates on T-TESS and our methods on tackling this program head on. 

Get the free teacher's handbook here!

Get the free teacher's handbook here!