The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS)
Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) is the Commissioner Recommended teacher evaluation system for the state of Texas starting in the 2016/2017 school year. Region 15 hosts T-TESS training each summer; you can find dates and registration information about the training on the Workshops page.
T-TESS is a system designed by educators to support teachers in their professional growth and includes three components:
- Goal-setting and professional development plan
- The evaluation cycle (including pre-conference, observation, post-conference)
- Student growth measure
- The T-TESS Rubric is made up of 4 Domains and 16 Dimensions. Teachers at every level have areas of strength and areas that need to grow, and through T-TESS every teacher is supported and encouraged to grow professionally.
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 teachers and students rather than separating them out into separate domains. Ultimately, T-TESS is a process that seeks to develop habits of continuous improvement, and the process itself best leads to that outcome when appraisers and teachers focus on evidence-based feedback and professional development decisions based on that feedback through ongoing dialogue and collaboration.
The recommended system encourages annual evaluations comprised of multiple informal observations and walkthroughs and at least one formal observation. These collective observations, along with the end-of-year conferences with appraisers, function as an integrated system to provide actionable, timely feedback, allowing teachers to make efficient, contextually-based professional development decisions that lead to growth – both teachers and students. Throughout the school year, teachers collaborate with their observer and/or appraiser to discuss teaching strategies, best practices, and techniques for effective instructional planning and execution of lessons.
For more information, please visit the statewide T-TESS website: https://teachfortexas.org/