Standards for Initial Licensure
(Effective October 1, 2003)
To be eligible for Initial Licensure, the candidate shall have:
1. Possession of a bachelor’s degree.
2. A passing score on the Communication
and Literacy Skills test.
3. A passing score on the subject matter knowledge test(s)
appropriate to the license sought, based on the subject
matter knowledge requirements set forth in 603 CMR 7.06
and 7.07. Where no test has been established, completion
of an approved program will satisfy this requirement.
4. Completed an approval program for the Initial Licensure
sought as set forth in 603 CMR 7.03 (2); preparation that
addresses the following:
a. Subject matter knowledge requirements for the
b. Knowledge of appropriate student learning
standards in Massachusetts Curriculum
c. Professional Standards for Teachers or
Administrators (603 CMR 7.08 and 7.06),
including the use of Massachusetts Curriculum
Frameworks in Instruction.
d. Application of knowledge in practice.
f. Practicum or practicum equivalent.
g. License – specific assessment of candidate
performance during the practicum or practicum
equivalent, using guidelines developed by the
5. Evidence of sound moral character.
The State specifies five (5) standards for meeting Initial Licensure, as well as specific requirements for each license (603 CMR 7.08 and 7.06). The Professional Standards for Teachers are described below:
A. Plans Curriculum and Instruction.
1. Draws on content standards of the relevant curriculum
frameworks to plan sequential units of study, individual
lessons, and learning activities that make learning
cumulative and advance student’s level of content
2. Draws on results of formal and informal assessments
as well as knowledge of human development to
identify teaching strategies and learning activities
appropriate to the specific discipline, age, and range of
cognitive levels being taught.
3. Identifies appropriate reading materials, other
resources, and writing activities for promoting further
learning by the full range of students within the
4. Identifies pre-requisite skills, concepts, and vocabulary
needed for the learning activities.
5. Plans lessons with clear objectives and relevant
6. Draws on resources from colleagues, families, and the
community to enhance learning.
7. Incorporates appropriate technology and media in
8. Uses information in Individualized Education Programs
(IEPs) to plan strategies integrating students with
disabilities into general education classrooms.
B. Delivers Effective Instruction
1. Communicates high standards and expectations when
beginning the lesson:
a. Makes learning objectives clear to students.
b. Communicates clearly in writing and speaking.
c. Uses engaging ways to begin a new unit of study
d. Builds on student’s prior knowledge and
2. Communicates high standards and expectations when
carrying out the lesson:
a. Uses a balanced approach to teaching skills and
concepts of elementary reading and writing.
b. Employs a variety of content-based and content-
orientated teaching techniques from more
teacher-directed strategies such as direct
instruction, practice, and Socratic dialogue, to
less teacher-directed approaches such as
discussion, problem solving,cooperative learning,
and research projects (among others).
c. Demonstrates an adequate knowledge of and
approach to the academic content of lessons.
d. Employs a variety of reading and writing
strategies for addressing learning objectives.
e. Uses questioning to stimulate thinking and
encourages all students to respond.
f. Uses instructional technology appropriately.
3. Communicates high standards and expectations when
extending and completing the lesson:
a. Assigns homework or practice that furthers
student learning and checks it.
b. Provides regular and frequent feedback to
students on their progress.
c. Provides many and varied opportunities for
students to achieve competence.
4. Communicates high standards and expectations when
evaluating student learning:
a. Accurately measures student achievement of,
and progress toward, the learning objectives with
a variety of formal and informal assessments, and
uses results to plan further instruction.
b. Translates evaluations of student work into
records that accurately convey the level of
student achievement to students, parents or
guardians, and school personnel.
C. Manages Classroom Climate and Operation
1. Creates an environment that is conducive to learning.
2. Creates a physical environment appropriate to a range
of learning activities.
3. Maintains appropriate standards of behavior, mutual
respect, and safety.
4. Manages classroom routines and procedures without
loss of significant instructional time.
D. Promotes Equity
1. Encourages all students to believe that effort is a key
2. Works to promote achievement by all students without
3. Assesses the significance of student differences in
home experiences, background knowledge, learning
skills, learning pace, and proficiency in the English
language for learning the curriculum at hand and uses
professional judgment to determine if instructional
adjustments are necessary.
4. Helps all students to understand American civic
culture, its underlying ideals, founding political
principles and political institutions, and to see
themselves as members of a local, state, national, and
international civic community.
E. Meets Professional Responsibilities
1. Understands his or her legal and moral responsibilities.
2. Conveys knowledge of and enthusiasm for his/her
academic discipline to students.
3. Maintains interest in current theory, research, and
developments in the academic discipline and exercises
judgment in accepting implications or findings as valid
for application in classroom practice.
4. Collaborates with colleagues to improve instruction,
assessment, and student achievement.
5. Works actively to involve parents in their child’s
academic activities and performance, and
communicates clearly with them.
6. Reflects critically upon his or her teaching experience