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T-TESS Corner

T-TESS Virtual Instruction Rubric
Given the increase in virtual classrooms and requests from districts statewide, the TEA has developed an aligned T-TESS rubric which isolates relevant, high-leverage practices in virtual instruction settings. This streamlined rubric will address the Planning, Instruction, and Learning Environment domains, including all current T-TESS dimensions within these domains. The rubric communicates best practices for virtual instruction and allows for focused observations and feedback with virtual instruction teachers.
What is T-TESS?
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.
T-TESS 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
The T-TESS Rubric includes 4 Domains and 16 Dimensions. T-TESS domain and dimension rubrics include specific descriptors of practices and 5 performance levels; Distinguished, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, and Improvement Needed.

T-TESS For Teachers

Teacher Guidelines

The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support (T-TESS) System supports teachers and as part of the continuous improvement process, teachers consistently hold themselves to a high standard for individual development and performance. They identify methods to collaborate with other educational professionals within and beyond the school to engage in purposeful and targeted professional learning opportunities, seek feedback, and refine their practices and skills. Including the teacher in a systematic way allows him or her to take an active role in his or her professional growth and development.

Evaluation Process

The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support (T-TESS) System observation cycle includes a pre-conference, observation and post-conference, as the recommended cycle for supporting teachers. During the observation, appraisers capture detailed, strategically-scripted evidence and use this evidence in conjunction with the T-TESS dimensions and descriptors of the rubric to determine performance levels. Each aspect of the observation cycle is included in this section.
Rubric Training

Deepen your understanding of the T-TESS rubric with this series of module videos that explore the finer points of each dimension of the rubric.
Calibration Videos
Advance your instruction and gain additional insight into the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) appraisal process with the collection of classroom lessons at varied grade levels, along with T-TESS rater scores. These lessons are designed to be used for appraiser calibrations and professional development to highlight and improve performance on each of the T-TESS domains/dimensions at both the teacher and appraiser levels.

Check out these Elementary, Middle School, and High School video lessons below to calibrate your rating ability. Be sure to download the evidence rating sheets.


Canutillo ISD T-TESS Internal Resources
TEA T-TESS Resources
Teacher Links (TEA)
Appraiser Links (TEA)

Teacher Prep Period Voluntary Agreement