RESPECT Self-inventory

How RESPECTful is your school or district?

Printable Versions

Explanation of the Elements in the Inventory

Critical Component: The critical components are seven areas identified in the RESPECT Blueprint as essential to transforming the teaching profession.

Indicator: The inventory items listed below were identified in the RESPECT Blueprint as key indicators or qualities of education systems successfully implementing the RESPECT vision.

Status: Rate your district on a scale from 1-5 where 1=Non-existent or rarely, 3= Imperfect or sometimes, and 5=Exemplary or always

Action Steps: Consider action steps that you and other RESPECT champions can take to begin implementing RESPECT work in this area. Some suggested action steps are provided below.


  • Critical Component 1: A Culture of Shared Responsibility and Leadership

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • School leaders and teacher take collective ownership and responsibility for student learning. [show/hide action steps]
      • Hold discussion groups within your school or district to talk about the transformation of the profession.
      • Form a data group to examine your school or district's data and determine which metrics you want to target for growth.
    • Shared decision-making structures empower principals and teacher leaders to develop school goals and strategies for achieving them. [show/hide action steps]
      • Identify teacher leaders in your school and district to discuss RESPECT with.
      • Consider how teacher leaders (and/or you) might be more empowered to set and reach goals.
    • Teacher leaders are involved in making the primary decisions about educator selection, assignment, evaluation, dismissal, and career advancement. [show/hide action steps]
      • Attend School Board forums and monthly meetings to advocate for and ensure teacher involvement.
      • Join school opening and restructuring decision-making committees.
    • Teachers are accountable for ensuring that high standards of practice are met and there is pervasive "open-door" practice among teachers.
    • School leaders and teachers have structured time to work collaboratively to solve students' learning challenges. [show/hide action steps]
      • Propose a structure for increasing collaboration.
    • Educators are given the autonomy professionals need to do their jobs effectively. [show/hide action steps]
      • Start by looking for small wins where autonomy can be negotiated and obtained.
  • Critical Component 2: Top Talent, Prepared for Success

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • Multiple, effective pathways for preparing teachers and leaders from diverse backgrounds are permitted by the State and utilized by the district. [show/hide action steps]
      • Network with your state Department of Education and volunteer to serve on teacher prep-related committees.
    • New teachers have supervised clinical experience prior to entry into the classroom as the teacher of record.
    • District partners or collaborates with preparation programs in order to ensure teachers and leaders have the skills and subject matter expertise to meet their needs.
    • Teacher and principal preparation programs are held accountable for results by tracking and publishing data on the success of their graduates in improving student achievement and other measures. [show/hide action steps]
      • Apply to serve on state advisory boards.
      • Join state professional organizations.
    • Aspiring teachers and leaders use outcome data about preparation programs to choose among programs.
    • State uses measures of improving student achievement and other data to identify and expand high quality teacher and leader preparation programs.
    • State uses the data to identify and assist weak programs and ultimately shut down those that do not improve.
  • Critical Component 3: Effective Teachers and Principals

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • District uses rigorous teacher and school leader evaluation systems. Multiple measures of performance, including student growth data as a significant factor, are used to differentiate between educators. [show/hide action steps]
      • Participate in teacher and leader evaluation design committees in your state and district.
    • Evaluation is used as a tool for managing and supporting the education workforce.
    • Evaluation is used to assess the professional development needs of teachers and school leaders at all levels and provide them with targeted feedback, professional learning, and other support.
    • Evaluation is used to identify and share the best practices of the most effective teachers and school leaders.
    • Evaluation is used to inform personnel decisions, including hiring, promotions, placement, tenure, and dismissal.
    • Highly effective teachers are recognized and promoted to expand their impact on students and other educators.
    • District does not renew the contracts of teachers who, despite receiving support, are ineffective with students.
    • District promotes systems of peer assistance and review where expert teachers evaluate and support their colleagues. [show/hide action steps]
      • Host a meet-n-greet with school board members and prepare questions for an informal Q & A session.
  • Critical Component 4: Continuous Growth and Professional Development

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • District assesses the impact of professional development activities, eliminates activities that yield few benefits relative to their cost, and replaces those ineffective activities with evidence-based forms of professional learning. [show/hide action steps]
      • Join work committees concerned with issues such as professional learning
      • Think about how to measure the effectiveness of professional development happening in your school.
    • Teachers are provided with ongoing and job-embedded forms of professional development, including opportunities to observe each other's classrooms, co-teach with peers or mentors, and collaborate with other teachers to plan lessons, design assessments, and analyze and improve their individual and collective practice.
    • Teachers and school leaders are provided access to a rich array of data on their schools and students.
    • Teachers and school leaders are provided with training on how to use the data effectively to improve student achievement
  • Critical Component 5: Professional Career Continuum with Competitive Compensation

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • Teachers' salaries are competitive with those in other highly regarded professions. [show/hide action steps]
      • Identify teacher leaders in your school and district who can advocate for salaries commensurate with the responsibilities described in RESPECT.
      • Work with your local union/association to collaborate with district leaders in developing and implementing new career pathways, leadership and compensation systems.
    • Teachers enter the profession in supervised, well-supported roles and progress to more advanced and higher-paying positions over the course of their careers.
    • Highly effective teachers and leaders receive recognition, leadership opportunities, financial incentives, and other forms of support, such as increased autonomy.
    • Similarly, highly effective principals receive higher pay, recognition, and opportunities to share their leadership strategies with other principals.
    • Beginning teachers receive guidance from mentor teachers and have the opportunity to earn professional status or tenure after demonstrating their effectiveness with students over multiple years.
    • After gaining professional status, teachers who are highly effective earn higher pay, "distinguished" or "master" educator status, and/or opportunities to take on leadership roles, such as department chair or mentor teacher positions. [show/hide action steps]
      • Join work committees concerned with issues such as career continuums and new, blended role development.
    • Teachers who excel in leadership roles are afforded opportunities to advance to higher levels of leadership, such as the principalship.
  • Critical Component 6: Creating Conditions for Success

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • School climate and culture, use of time and resources, approach to staffing, deployment of support services, and engagement of families are all optimized to continuously improve student outcomes. [show/hide action steps]
      • Submit public papers, articles, op-eds to local, state and national publications to help build an understanding of what supportive climates and cultures look like.
      • Leverage school level autonomies to try new approaches to these conditions.
    • Faculty are organized into collaborative teams committed to meeting specific ambitious academic goals. Teams are granted autonomy to meet their academic goals and use multiple measures of school climate as well as academic performance to assess progress toward those goals. [show/hide action steps]
      • Hold discussion groups within your school or district to discuss barriers to increased collaboration and generate a proposal to increase teamwork in your context.
    • The school day, week and year have been structured to improve teaching and student outcomes. For example, this could involve lengthening the school day or year to provide students with more time to participate in academic and enrichment activities, and teachers with more time to collaborate on improving instruction. [show/hide action steps]
      • Identify barriers to more flexible school schedules, including lengthening the school day, week and/or year if desirable.
      • Reach out to key leaders regarding addressing those barriers.
    • Innovative and flexible approaches to staffing are used to meet the different needs of students and teachers and to increase the impact of effective teachers. For example the most effective teachers might receive release time to mentor other teachers or be offered higher pay to teach larger classes, with the support of apprentice or resident teachers, allowing them to reach more students.
    • Technology is used to leverage and further expand the reach of highly effective teachers and to enable teachers to tailor their instruction to their students' individual needs and interests. [show/hide action steps]
      • Map out existing and needed resources, prioritize and set goals, and formulate a strategy for acquiring missing resources.
    • High-need students receive the intensity of instruction and support services needed to succeed academically and educators are assisted in providing or connecting students to those supports.
  • Critical Component 7: Engaged Communities

    Indicators (Rate each from 1-5):

    • Strong partnerships with the local community aid teachers in improving student achievement and wellbeing. [show/hide action steps]
      • Reach out to student, parent, teacher, community organizations. Volunteer to work with them, speak at their events and invite them to visit your school.
    • School partners with businesses to improve student achievement and motivation. For example, such partnerships could create career academies or offer students hands-on learning opportunities, such as internships at local businesses. [show/hide action steps]
      • Connect with your city's chamber of commerce and make the case for their role in supporting teachers and students.
    • School partners with local nonprofit organizations and government agencies to offer academic, health, and social services at school sites to support students and their families. [show/hide action steps]
      • Solicit local philanthropic foundations and help them see their role in supporting teachers and students.

Send us your ideas for additional action steps at teachtalk@ed.gov or on Twitter using #RESPECTeaching


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