BECOME A MEMBER! Sign up for TIE services now and start your international school career


Making Teaching Standards

Bambi Betts

It’s a firmly established fact. The single most influential factor on learning is the quality of teaching. And this begs the questions, what IS "quality teaching," and what tools do we have to ensure every child in every international school gets access to quality teaching?

What is Quality Teaching?
Hundreds of researchers and experts have explored this question and grappled with how best to describe and communicate what it means to those who need to know. And clearly ALL stakeholders need to know -teachers, parents, governance, school leadership.
• School leaders need to know so they can hire and retain quality teachers
• School governance needs to know so they can ensure the broad mission of the school
• Teachers need to know so they can continue to refine their craft and have maximum impact on learning
• Parents need to know so they can be active partners in their children’s learning

Decades of schooling have taught us that, just as with all professions, an essential starting point to getting to quality is a universally understood way of communicating that quality.

With the help and endorsement, researchers and experts James Stronge and Kim Marshall, The International Educator (TIE) and the Principals' Training Center (PTC), and the Teachers' Training Center (TTC), the quest to find a universally understood way to communicate ‘quality’ to all these stakeholders has resulted in a robust set of Standards for the International School Teacher.

These standards reflect the deep research on the relationship between classroom teaching and student learning, as well as the special conditions and circumstances in international schools.

What Tools Do We Have to Make the Standards "Live"?
There are multiple ‘tools’ for each of the stake-holder groups, too many to list here. But there is at least one set of unique tools that is really moving the needle of getting that quality from the outset. It all starts when a school is looking for a teacher and a teacher is looking for a school – how does each know that the other shares the same definition of ‘quality teaching? Here’s how:

At TIE online:
1. You create your resume around those universal standards for the international teacher; resumes become portfolios of each teacher’s evidence of those standards;
2. School leaders write their recommendations using those same standards; letters of recommendation become school leadership evidence of how a teacher is meeting those standards
3. Common definition of quality teaching, common language to talk and work toward that quality, and a recruitment process fully aligned to that quality.


Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:


There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.



The International School of Panama’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Diploma Playbook
By Allwyn Bryner
Jun 2024

Roadmap to Action
By Jaya Ramchandani and Cary Reid
Sep 2023