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Professional Teacher: Education and Teaching in California Essay

The Power of Education

Becoming a Professional Teacher

According to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, becoming an educator in California is a multifaceted procedure, which includes the following steps: preparing application forms, due to the specific occupational requirements, meeting a fingerprint regulation as well as examinations verification through recognizing credentials. It must be noted that there are some specific requirements for teachers who qualify in special education or language teaching. Thus, teachers of English have to possess a language development authorization such as ESL, EL, or CLAD certificate so that to be eligible for getting the position of an educator. The professionals of special education must hold at least one authorization for working in a particular area such as Physical Impairments, Early Childhood Education, Moderate Disabilities, etc. (Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 2012).

College Education and Success

In his book, Paul Tough (2013) reflects on the principles of higher education. His personal experience of dropping out from college provides an account of personal decisions that were taken by a conscious young man, who suddenly found himself resenting studying. When analyzing Tough’s thoughts and grounds for leaving a college, I did not feel adverse about his choice. The reasoning of the author is completely mature and logical. Moreover, his eight-page review of this crucial verdict proves that the arrangement was not a spur of the moment, but rather a decision, which was grounded in mature and logical reasoning. The author emphasized that he felt doubtful, and even scornful about the fact since dropping out of college is perceived as a harsh violation of social norms in any community: “It felt at the time like a weighty and fateful choice, and it still does” (Tough, 2013, p. 176). Thus, a generalized repugnance of uneducated citizens is a problem of a global society. Instead of grudging such people, one should concentrate on the changes that have to be brought into modern education for it to become motivational and rewarding. Unfortunately, today, a path to success does not always go through academic cognition. It is a way that outlines personal choices, failures, and decisions that turn an individual into a sensible citizen.

Q-Q-T-P Analysis of California Teaching Standards

The articles “Engaging students in learning activities” and “Planning for “neomillennial” learning styles: Implications for investments in technology and faculty” provide a consistent assessment of six primary California Standards for Teaching Profession and match the contemporary learning tendencies to the authorized teaching. The standards examination helps to clarify whether students’ success is dependent on the quality of teaching and educators’ proficiency.

Question: What is the correlation between such teaching standards as the engagement of students, maintaining an effective learning environment, understanding the subject matter, planning instruction, assessing students’ knowledge, developing proficiency, and the practical achievements of the learners?

The articles respond to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. Thus, the article on learners’ engagement supports the first principle of teaching, which argues that all students have to be connected to real-life learning experiences. According to Hyungshim, Johnmarshall, & Deci (2010), the objective of this standard can be met through autonomy support (p. 586). Moreover, the authors’ statement can be linked to the fourth and fifth principles, due to which planning instructions and structuring the lessons help the learners to reach their goals and to track their progress. The second article targets the second, third, and sixth standards. Due to Dede (2004), “digital media and interfaces encourage multi-tasking” (p. 5). This idea supports the principle of an efficient environment and states that it may be granted by the usage of technology. Besides, the piece of writing refers to the standard of subject matter understanding, which claims that the learners have to perceive the content of the curricula. The article emphasizes that the central idea of learning has to be creative and motivational. Finally, the second article relates to the standard of proficiency development by drawing a picture of a high quality teaching professional.


The article “Engaging students in learning activities” represents two basic methods of learners’ integration in the study process, which have to be embraced by a successful teacher. The methods are lesson structuring and self-assessment support. The study claims that successful students can reveal their creativity and proficiency if they are given a personal space for individual growth and development. Besides, the authors of the article support the idea about efficient lesson planning being a prerequisite of a teacher’s success since it helps to organize the activities that the students may be involved in.

The article “Planning for “neomillennial” learning styles: Implications for investments in technology and faculty” is an innovative view of the teaching profession, which demonstrates the way in which technological facilities can match the traditional standards of the occupation.

Talking Points

The art of teaching is determined by various individual parameters. However, a successful educational procedure has to meet six fundamental standards of the teaching profession. The first standard encompasses the concept of students’ commitment to and involvement in learning. Paradoxically, due to Hyungshim et al. (2010), the learners may be encouraged to act by the teachers’ inactivity. Thus, it is acknowledged that the students work better if they are approached in an inductive manner.

The standard of learning environment refers to the utilization of specific supplies that facilitate knowledge acquisition. It may be claimed that progressive usage of technology contributes to the students becoming successful learners.

The third standard, which dwells on a subject matter, implies the appliance of efficient content fixation. Due to the readings, exciting topics and ideas stimulate the learners’ interest.

The standards of lesson planning and progress evaluation represent the systems of success tracking. Nevertheless, according to Dede (2004), assessments can not be straightforward. The teacher’s task is to explain the learners’ mistakes, but not to judge him/her due to the failures. Successful students always accept their drawbacks and are motivated to work for their improvement.

Finally, the standard of gaining proficiency implies a step-by-step acquisition of practical abilities that ensure the learners’ occupational growth.

Greatness by Design: Maintaining a Teaching Tradition

The Californian educational dream encompasses a wide range of moral settings and professional implications. In his report, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, dwells on the pitfalls of Californian academic practices and describes the model of integrative education as a proponent of the students’ success. According to the author, modern educators are usually underestimated since neither the government nor the schools’ administrators support their well-being. Thus, the teachers do not only promote life-long learning, but they conduct it themselves, which means that successful educators need to alternate their activities, goals, and techniques on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the Californian community does not realize that teachers need constant feedbacks and evaluations so that to know whether their practices succeed or not. No educator can be assessed on the basis of a single lesson or a particular achievement of one of his/her students. Instead, every teaching technique that is employed by a progressive educator has to be verified against the needs of individual learners, their parents, local government, and society as a whole. The crisis of misunderstanding between Californian teachers and a surrounding community inflicts adverse effects for the state education since the professionals are not encouraged to prolong their occupational growth and end up either leaving the positions or continuing working without any particular interest in improving the quality of education.

Therefore, according to Torlakson (2012), Californian education has to be directed at the teachers’ support since only elaborate guidance and responsiveness can show the teachers that their work is appreciated by the community. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction attempted to realize a model of supportive attitude towards teaching by gathering a Task Force group in California. The team’s goal was to unite a wide range of state’s citizens, who are related to education. Two successful education authorities were chosen to coordinate the work of the union. The Task Force group worked at the evaluation of recruitment, guidance, and ultimate achievements of Californian educators. According to the outcomes of this investigation, which showed that the state was still home to many excellent teachers, a plan of teaching support was compiled. The method predetermined the complete involvement of community members in the teachers’ work. Thus, it was claimed that Californian educators could not be judged purely on the basis of their performance. It is crucial to make learners, their parents, school administrators, as well as local government representatives responsible for educational progress.

The goal that was set by the Californian Task Force is not easy to achieve, though. It is a challenge to the state’s authority to motivate the community members to engage in academic activities, which is an undertaking task, due to the citizens’ preoccupation. Thus, my idea of its accomplishment consists in reforming the general employment regulations in California. It can be beneficial for the state’s employees to allocate one free hour for the parents so that they could visit their children at school and thereby access the teachers’ and learners’ performance.

Professional Learning Communities: Contributing to Students’ Success

The concept of the professional learning community (PLC) encompasses any type of collaboration that is aimed at academic improvements. The community can consist of multiple groups such as parents’ board, administrative members, or teachers’ team. The ultimate goal of any professional learning community is to ensure that students are not just taught but learn as well. Thus, consistent verification of the learners’ knowledge can be conducted by professional educators. Consequently, unions of teachers of one educational establishment represent successful PLCs since they can provide an objective and logical assessment of the students’ ability to acquire proficiency.

According to the Californian Department of Education, professional learning communities imply the existence of several crucial constituents. Thus, it is claimed that students’ success is dependent on such learning dimensions as intellectual, social, emotional, and civic development. The intellectual growth pattern that lies in the center of Californian PLC foundation includes such factors as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Therefore, a general belief of schooling content is the core of learning is rebutted. Due to the regulations, learners acquire knowledge so that to be able to cultivate critical growth within their minds (Californian Department of Education, 2013). Social development as an integral part of PLC instructions targets such concepts as ethical concerns and integration into society.

Thus, the professional learning communities are supposed to promote inclusive education and to encourage the students to connect to the outer world as well as actively interact with each other. The emotional component of PLC regulation overlaps the latter conception since it follows positive social associations and aims at a harmonious expression of learners’ feelings. It is acknowledged that positive thinking among the students contributes to their mental and physical well-being. Consequently, emotional stability influences the quality of learning. Finally, civic development ensures establishing a link between education and the life of the Californian community. Therefore, it is claimed that teachers have to maintain the students’ awareness of the public sphere since interest in the surrounding world is a critical factor in personal development.

In general, professional learning communities create a powerful impact on both educators and learners. Thus, the teachers, who constitute PLC, adopt a learner-centered attitude towards their students. Consequently, their methodological strategies evolve from the idea of students reaching their goals. Such a method stipulates active learning and involvement in educational activities. Obviously, results are the most consistent evaluators of success. Therefore, teachers are obliged to track their learners’ achievements through the scope of learning and not through the effectiveness of teaching. The work that is conducted by professional learning communities targets the students as well. According to the contemporary review of the learning outcomes assessment, the US students show higher performance if they are targeted by PLCs (Vescio, Ross, & Adams, 2007).

Currently, I have a chance to trace the PLC functioning within multiple academic environments. Thus, the standards are supported by the professional learning communities through the employment of cooperative, discovery, and problem-based learning. Lately, I had a chance to participate in the teaching workshop, the goal of which was to test the method of enhanced discovery instruction that was introduced by Robert Marzano in 2011. The teacher of the class performed the role of an instructor, who provided the students with clues. Thus, the learners had to generate a strategy for drug abuse elimination in California. At the beginning of the lesson, the educator demonstrated some visual materials that contained interviews with the state policymakers, who dwelled on the problem.

The students were supposed to split into teams of governors, who evaluate the reports and suggest the strategies of fighting drug use in California, according to the laws. Afterward, the learners presented their ideas to the class, and the issues were discussed. Finally, the students compiled a single policy that was sent to the governmental structures of California. Therefore, the lesson plan completely corresponded to the PLC foundation since it refers to its four components. First, discovery learning stimulates intellectual growth since it develops critical thinking among the learners, who learn the methods of material evaluation and strategic learning. Second, the example of such a lesson predetermines emotional development, for the students receive an opportunity to express her feelings about certain ideas. Third, it contributes to social and civic integration since the learners are connected to the outer world by creating some plans or rules that may become active in their community.

To sum it up, efficient usage of PLC work contributes to the students’ success. The model of education that allows the learners to feel that they acquire meaningful knowledge is beneficial for them since it denies the idea of compulsory teaching.


. (2013). Web.

Commission on Teacher Credentialing. (2012). Web.

Dede, C. (2014). Planning for “neomillennial” learning styles: Implications for investments in technology and faculty. Educause, 12(1), 1-14.

Hyungshim, R., Johnmarshall, D., & Deci, E. (2010). Engaging students in learning activities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 586-600.

Torlakson, T. (2012). . Web.

Tough, P. (2013). How children succeed: Grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character. New York: Mariner.

Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2007). A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practice and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(1), 80-91.

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