Explore the DC Model Teacher Evaluation Framework

The DC Model Teacher Evaluation Framework serves as the foundation for effective teacher evaluation processes; including observation, feedback, and coaching.

The framework has 26 domains divided into 4 categories: learning environment, delivery of instruction, planning and preparation and professional foundations. Each category contains 74 individual indicators that describe effective teaching in each domain.

In addition to the framework, the DC Model Teacher Evaluation System also includes guidance and resources related to student learning objectives.

Unpack Our Rubric to Analyze Practice

The DC Model Teacher Evaluation System Rubric describes teaching practice. It can be used as a helpful tool to:

  • Develop shared understanding of what teacher performance looks like in practice
  • Provide a common structure to organize evidence
  • Inform professional judgment

The model teacher evaluation rubric provides definitions of effectiveness for each indicator of the framework. Effectiveness definitions include:

Highly Effective: Evidence of exceptional performance; outstanding knowledge, implementation, and integration of teaching standards along with evidence of leadership initiative and willingness to model and/or serve as a mentor for colleagues as measured by both exemplary teacher and student actions.

Effective: Evidence of solid performance; strong knowledge, implementation, and integration of teaching standards; clear evidence of proficiency and skill in the component/criterion as measured by satisfactory student actions and results.

Minimally Effective: Evidence of mediocre or developing performance; fundamental knowledge and implementation of teaching standards is uneven or rudimentary. Integration of teaching standards is inconsistent. Teacher is making progress towards proficiency with mixed student actions and results.

Ineffective: Little or no knowledge and minimal implementation of teaching standards. Does not meet minimal teaching standards and needs substantial improvement. Students are not meeting either behavioral or academic expectations.

Explore the rubric to find a growing library of exemplar resources about effective teaching practice organized by category.


Learning Environment

A safe and collaborative learning environment motivates and engages students to take ownership of their learning. Teachers use physical resources to contribute to effective instruction and make resources accessible to all students.

Positive Relationships and Respect

Effective teachers create an environment of respect and rapport in their classrooms by using positive language to address student behavior; treating all students with sensitivity and respect; and holding high expectations for all students regardless of their backgrounds.

Procedures and Routines

Effective teachers use clear strategies and routines to maximize instructional time and student growth and to limit distractions. They communicate and enforce high expectations, and consistently hold students accountable for their behavior and learning.

Physical Environment

Effective teachers create a visually inviting classroom that is organized to maximize student learning; displays student work and content that is aligned to learning standards; and is responsive to student needs.


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Delivery of Instruction

Quality instruction engages all students and is personalized to accommodate diverse learning styles, needs, interests, and levels of readiness. Teachers employ instructional practices that reflect high expectations regarding content and quality of effort.

Culture of Learning

Effective teachers exhibit enthusiasm for what they are teaching, and communicate their belief that all students are capable of learning.

Student Engagement

Effective teachers use varied resources and techniques to meet the needs of most learners. They begin each lesson in a way that engages students, using teaching strategies that activate students’ prior knowledge and own experiences to engage them in content.

Questioning Techniques

Effective teachers incorporate a range of questioning techniques and strategies into their teaching.

Execution of Lesson

Effective teachers lead objective-driven lessons with clear outcomes that are communicated to students; use clear examples and appropriate language; and provide opportunities for reflection and closure on the lesson.

Content Knowledge

Effective teachers demonstrate mastery of the content they are teaching by delivering accurate information, responding to most student questions and using appropriate vocabulary.

Use of Assessments

Effective teachers use formal and informal, cumulative and summative assessment results to inform planning and modify instruction.


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Planning and Preparation

Students have access to knowledge and are aware of clear and high expectations for learning and behavior. Through careful planning and evaluation of data, teachers modify instruction for both the class and individual students.

Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy

Effective teachers develop instructional plans that reflect a strong grasp of how students learn; help students make connections to prior learning; and utilize a range of resources that assist student learning.

Knowledge of Students

Effective teachers employ developmentally appropriate instructional strategies that meet the needs of the various types of learners in their classrooms.

Long-Term Instructional Planning

Effective teachers develop long-term plans for the school year that are aligned to standards and assessments, and communicate long-term goals to their students.

Daily Instructional Planning

Effective teachers design daily lessons that are aligned with measurable outcomes, facilitate peer interactions and assess student understanding.

Student Assessment

Effective teachers use high-quality formal and informal assessments, analyzing the data produced to draw meaningful conclusions and modify instructional plans.


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Professional Foundations

New approaches to improve teaching and learning enhance student growth. Teachers reflect on and improve their own practice, formally and informally, in a variety of collaborative settings.

Department/Grade Level Contributions

Effective teachers collaborate with peers and meet department/ grade level deadlines.

Lesson Plans

Effective teachers submit complete, high-quality lesson plans tied closely to achievement goals.

Professional Feedback

Effective teachers actively seek out feedback in order to improve their practice.

School Contributions

Effective teachers actively participate in school program development and implementing school-wide goals, and are involved in school-wide activities.

Professional Development & Individual Professional Growth

Effective teachers attend and engage with professional development learning opportunities and incorporate effective teaching ideas from colleagues, workshops and other sources.

Family Contact and Communication

Effective teachers initiate and document appropriate, professional and timely family contact, participating in family engagement activities and communicating with respect and sensitivity.

Record Keeping

Effective teachers keep accurate and prompt instructional records.


Effective teachers demonstrate professional, ethical behavior with students, colleagues and administration.


Effective teachers are dependable and punctual for work-related activities.


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