INTASC Portfolio
Dr. Jurgen Combs

Below are are the 10 INTASC Standards for professional preparedness.  You will see the 10 standards below along with a brief description taken from the previous page plus some additional information.  Following each section are some sample items that might be included to demonstrate your competence in that particular standard; remember that these items are only suggestions - use your own judgment and ingenuity to provide the most appropriate documentation to support your contention that you have mastered each of these principles.

When you include various lesson plans or papers, as well as any other evidence to document your competency for any of these principles, write a short reflective paragraph explaining how you feel the evidence supports the principle - you do not want to leave the reader guessing as how a lesson plan, for example, addresses varying learning styles.


Principle #1:

  • The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.  We often talk about this being "authentic instruction" - that is, we teach the concepts and content as much as possible in the way that students are actually going to be using it.


  • a variety of lesson plans can be considered for demonstrate this principle - note, though, that you will only include one or two samples.  Also, consider changing the samples you include based on the philosophy and needs of the school where you are applying.  Keep copies of all of your lesson plans in the working portfolio and then making appropriate selections to include in your professional portfolio.

Principle #2:

  • The teacher understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development. For example, the teacher understands that, for young people, material must be presented at a concrete level; the teacher also understands that not all students are at the abstract level for all content areas.  For example, a student may be at the abstract level when writing, but still at the concrete level for other content areas and plans instruction based on these principles.


  • Inclusion of lesson plans that clearly demonstrates your understanding of the cognitive development of students - for example, a plan that addresses how you will teach content to both abstract and concrete learners.
  • A copy of a paper completed in human growth which demonstrates your understanding of the cognitive or physical growth of students.
  • Evidence to support the contention that you are not solely interested in covering the book but that you also understand that students learn at different rates and can demonstrate that understanding.
  • Evidence of how you adjusted your lesson as you are teaching it based on your awareness of current student understanding of the material being taught.

Principle #3:

  • The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners. Lesson plans will reflect a variety of instructional techniques - perhaps following Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences approach when planning lessons.


  • Lesson plans which specifically address different learning styles, diverse cultural backgrounds as well as exceptionalities.
  • Examples of assignments that you have adjusted to considered differences among your students.
  • Contracts that you developed to help meet the learning needs of a diverse student population.

Principle #4:

  • The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.


  • Lesson plans that shows a variety of instructional approaches - lecture, problem solving, cooperative learning, etc.
  • An explanation of how you use manipulatives to increase student understanding.
  • A list of guest speakers that you have had come to your class to speak about personal experiences relevant to the content.
  • Evidence of the use of appropriate questioning skills in your lessons.

Principle #5:

  • The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. The teacher creates a safe environment in the classroom, where students are willing to take risks without fear of ridicule.


  • Records of class meetings.
  • Samples of your classroom rules and procedures
  • Letter to parents outlining your management procedures
  • Log that a colleague kept during a classroom visit demonstrative your effective use of praise and reinforcement

Principle #6:

The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.


  • Samples of written communication that show clear writing which is grammatically correct.
  • Evidence of your use of active listening, paraphrasing, clarifying questions.
  • Evidence of your understanding that the physical environment of your classroom is an important communication tool.
  • Pictures of bulletin boards showing student work.
  • Sample of student work that you corrected showing evidence of comments, praise, feedback.
  • Evidence of your understanding of giving clear directions - for example, a lesson plan that clearly details specific steps for a project.

Principle #7:

  • The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.


  • Evidence that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter and that you keep abreast of changes; this can be demonstrated by listing conferences you have attended, presentations you have given, articles you have authored, etc.
  • Documentation that you understand the important of long and short range goals in your instruction by including copies of yearly plans, unit plans, and such.
  • Adherence to state and local standards by including references to these in your plans.

Principle #8:

  • The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner.


  • Evidence of your use of a variety of assessments - include copies of different assessment tools you have used.
  • Copies of your observations of student work.
  • Rubrics that you have developed for various projects - it is good to include rubrics you have actually completed
  • Specific examples of authentic assessment that you have used
  • Portfolios that you have asked students to develop - you may not want to attach the actual portfolio, although some pictures of it or sections might be appropriate; alternatively, you could include directions for the portfolio and assessment rubric.
  • Other examples of tests that you have used
  • Handout that your prepared for parents and students outlining your assessment strategies.

Principle #9:

  • The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.


  • Examples of parent communication
  • Evidence of work on school committees - textbook evaluation, for example
  • Examples of your own professional growth - courses taken, workshops attended
  • Evidence of how you used the material that you learned in courses or workshops in your instruction
  • Various examples of journal entries that you have kept to demonstrate your reflective practices.

Principle #10:

  • The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.


  • Evidence of how you have used community resources in your classes - thank you letter to class speakers, for example.
  • Examples of ways that you have connected your classroom to the communities - be that the local community or community at large.  For example, correspondence that you had with school in another part of the country where you worked together on a project.
  • Log of extra-curricular activities in which you participated as a teacher.
  • Volunteer committee work or other volunteer work in our community
  • Service on professional committees


H. Jurgen Combs
updated on Tuesday, May 27, 2008