T-TESS — Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System Flip Chart

The Mentoring Minds™ T-TESS Flip Chart® is a resource for educators as they implement the Texas appraisal instrument, Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). The state-recommended system fosters growth by encouraging all educators to intentionally think about educational practices. Focusing on the four domains of T-TESS and the dimensions within each, teachers and leaders collaborate before instruction to plan student-centered lessons, reflect on student learning and engagement, and set goals for growth and continuous improvement. The process helps educators evaluate current practices, identify goals, and track progress toward meeting goals during the year. Educators may use this flip chart to:

  • develop a growth mindset.
  • stimulate conversations about lesson design.
  • focus on student outcomes.
  • set instructional goals.
  • monitor progress toward goal attainment.
  • identify professional development that leads to refinement and reinforcement of goals.
  • increase conversation and collaboration about student achievement.
  • promote self-reflection and a commitment to growth.
  • create a culture of continuous improvement.

Note: The contents of this resource, while reflective of the T-TESS, are not intended to replace materials provided by a district or the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Neither TEA nor any TEA employee has approved, reviewed, or endorsed this resource.

The teacher designs clear, well-organized, sequential lessons that reflect best practice, align with standards and are appropriate for diverse learners.


Before the Lesson

Use these questions to ensure that standards and alignment are incorporated in planning instruction that improves student learning.

  • How are lesson goals aligned to state content standards?
  • How will other standards that address unique needs (e.g., ELPS) align to state standards?
  • How will students connect this lesson to previous and future lessons?
  • How will students express the key understandings from this lesson?
  • What evidence will be gathered to demonstrate the progression of student mastery?
  • How will the sequence of the lesson move from basic to complex?
  • What method will be used to communicate the learning objective to students to establish relevancy?
  • How will materials and activities be selected to support the objective and meet the needs of students?
  • What technologies are applicable and will enhance goal mastery?

During the Lesson

Use these indicators to demonstrate evidence of effective planning.

  • The lesson has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • Connections are made from the lesson plan to lesson execution.
  • The lesson objective is referenced during the beginning, middle, and end of the lesson.
  • Students demonstrate a clear understanding of the intended outcomes of the lesson.
  • The sequence moves students to greater complexity.
  • Questions generated by students demonstrate understanding of lesson purpose.
  • Activities lead students to form real-world connections.
  • Time is allowed for students to engage in self-reflection.

After the Lesson

Use these questions to reflect on classroom practices, gather relevant data, and make necessary adjustments to increase lesson effectiveness. Base the responses to these questions on high-quality evidence.

  • What connections did students make during the lesson?
  • In what ways did students express understanding of the learning objective?
  • How successful were student interactions with the lesson objective(s)?
  • How did students link the lesson objective to their prior knowledge and skills?
  • How did the selection of materials and activities impact the needs of diverse learners?
  • What adjustments to planning can be made to strengthen student-learning outcomes?

The teacher uses formal and informal methods to measure student progress,then manages and analyzes student data to inform instruction.


Before the Lesson

Use these questions to ensure that data and assessment are incorporated into instruction and used to improve student learning.

  • What student data were used to inform instructional choices for lesson planning?
  • What student learning needs were exhibited from the data?
  • How will data be used to help students know how to close gaps?
  • How did the professional learning community collaboration impact the development of formal and informal assessments?
  • How will student progress be monitored?
  • What informal assessment strategies will be used to check for student understanding?
  • How often will informal assessments be implemented?
  • How will criteria for success be communicated to students?
  • How will feedback be provided to students?
  • How will students chart their progress toward mastery?

During the Lesson

Use these indicators to demonstrate evidence of effective planning.

  • Students are provided clear learning targets.
  • A variety of checks for understanding are implemented.
  • Adjustments to instruction occur based on informal assessment data.
  • Teacher uses data/results to reflect on and monitor teaching behaviors or practices.
  • Students monitor their own progress toward the learning outcome.
  • Feedback is specific, timely, and meets the unique needs of students.
  • Feedback leads to student success.
  • Students are provided choice in how they demonstrate the understanding of the learning outcome.

After the Lesson

Use these questions to reflect on classroom practices, gather relevant data, and make necessary adjustments to increase lesson effectiveness. Base the responses to these questions on high-quality evidence.

  • How did informal assessments impact instruction?
  • What instructional adjustments were made based on informal assessment data?
  • How did students respond to feedback?
  • How did feedback elicit student thinking?
  • What did student data reflect about the impact of instruction?
  • Did the learning target align to the rigor of the standards?
  • In what ways did student work demonstrate attainment of the learning target?
  • How did the analysis of student assessment data strengthen the lesson?

Through knowledge of students and proven practices, the teacher ensures high levels of learning, social-emotional development and achievement for all students.


Before the Lesson

Use these questions to ensure that information about students is being maintained and used in planning instruction that improves student learning.

  • How will the knowledge gained about students (e.g., interest inventories, learning styles inventories, parent questionnaires, surveys, assessments) be used in planning lessons?
  • How will students’ prior experiences be accessed?
  • How will connections be made to prior knowledge?
  • How will individual learning needs impact lesson design?
  • How will this lesson access individual student strengths and skills?
  • How are cultural differences reflected in the lesson design?
  • How are individual learning preferences assessed?
  • How will individual learning habits be incorporated to increase student motivation?
  • How will an environment be created so that students ask questions and explore?

During the Lesson

Use these indicators to demonstrate evidence of effective planning.

  • Questions promote curiosity and exploration.
  • Discussion is rich (eliciting conversations with deep responses) and led by students.
  • Students are guided to apply their strengths.
  • Students’ strengths are manifested through a variety of interactions.
  • Student effort is reinforced through growth mindset language.
  • Student-to-student interactions are positive and enhance the learning of others.
  • Students demonstrate commitment to the task.
  • Students are intentionally grouped based on learning preferences.
  • Students make connections across content areas.
  • Multiple representations of learning are expressed or displayed.
  • Teacher addresses gaps in knowledge and experiences to assist students in achieving goal mastery.

After the Lesson

Use these questions to reflect on classroom practices, gather relevant data, and make necessary adjustments to increase lesson effectiveness. Base the responses to these questions on high-quality evidence.

  • How did individual strengths impact the learning of others?
  • How did the prior experiences of students support the lesson objective?
  • How was the effort of students reinforced?
  • How were cultural differences incorporated into the lesson?
  • How were social and emotional needs addressed?
  • What impact did choice in learning have on students?
  • How did students demonstrate responsibility and initiative?
  • What opportunities were provided for students to ask questions reflecting curiosity with the objective?
  • How were students able to generate their own questions to promote further exploration?
  • What was the impact of intentional grouping?

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