T-TESS Rubric Domains Overview

What are the components of the rubric?

The rubric has four domains:
  1. Planning
  2. Instruction
  3. Learning Environment
  4. Professional Practice and Responsibilities

There are sixteen total dimensions within those four domains, five in Instruction, four in both Planning and Professional Practice and Responsibilities, and three in Learning Environment.

The full rubric is available on our website:  teachfortexas.org

What is the difference between the PDAS rubric and the T-TESS rubric?

Although good instruction is captured in both rubrics, the biggest differences between the two rubrics are:

  • T-TESS strives to capture the holistic nature of teaching – the idea that a constant feedback loop exists between teachers and students, and gauging the effectiveness of teachers requires a consistent focus on how students respond to their teacher’s instructional practices.  For those reasons, each of the observable domains in T-TESS focuses on both teachers and students rather than separating them out into separate domains, as under PDAS.
  • In order to capture a better distribution of teaching practices, T-TESS has five performance levels where PDAS had four.  All teachers, regardless of their relative effectiveness, should be able to see within the performance levels of T-TESS some practices that they can strive toward in their goal setting and professional development plan.
  •  The descriptors in T-TESS differ from PDAS in that T-TESS articulates different practices between performance levels whereas PDAS differentiated between the performance levels based on how often a teacher did the same practice.  T-TESS strives to show that accomplished and distinguished teachers often do different things than developing teachers rather than simply doing the same practices more frequently.
  •  T-TESS also strives to capture feedback built into the rubric itself.  Any teacher can, after self-assessing on the rubric or getting feedback from their appraiser, find practices in the performance levels above their level that they can work toward in professional development.

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