Maximizing Teacher Effectiveness

The System for Effective Educator Development (SEED) is a professional learning system that stems from campus and district goals and utilizes collaborative learning communities to influence educator practices across all levels and positively impact student learning (Holland, 2005). Effective teachers are encouraged to pursue campus leadership roles through SEED teacher leader positions as well as through the Texas Teacher Residency Program (TxTRP), which provides a system of targeted support for novice teachers. TxTRP draws on the medical model approach to provide intensive and individualized coaching, mentoring, training, and support that novice teachers often lack (Darling-Hammond, 2013; TEA, 2015; Wei, et al., 2009).

Learn more about two initiatives that can assist you in maximizing teacher effectiveness — System for Effective Educator Development and Texas Teacher Residency Program.

Key Components of SEED (CLCs)

Provides the district a systemic structure for delivering quality professional development

  • Aligns with a district’s chosen educator evaluation system
  • Aligns with a district’s chosen curriculum and programs/initiatives

Provides opportunities for educators to improve effectiveness based on individualized need

  • Supports teachers and principals with individualized needs identified through the evaluation process
  • Uses multiple forms of data to drive professional development content
  • Enhances educator support through a tiered system

Provides job-embedded opportunities to transform practice




The Texas Center for Educator Excellence (TxCEE) strives to provide differentiated, sustained professional learning opportunities to support educator success to impact student learning. Our key priorities are investing in and equipping educators with research-based resources and strategies to implement in instructional settings, as well as building capacity of campus- and district-level administrators to influence educator practices that positively impact student learning.

At the heart of an effective Human Capital Management System is a professional learning system to support teacher and principal needs identified through the evaluation process. The System for Effective Educator Development (SEED©) is the foundational component of the TEEM professional learning system. SEED provides targeted and personalized professional learning for ALL teachers, principals and district leaders regardless of “effectiveness”. The SEED structure aligns professional learning with district goals and campus objectives to significantly impact classroom teaching and student achievement. SEED is rooted in collaborative learning and focuses on the experience and creativity of professional educators working toward a common goal.

The goals of SEED are to (1) increase targeted, job-embedded professional development and collaborative learning opportunities for educators and (2) enhance support for educators via a multi-tiered career pathway structure. SEED is grounded in human capital, organizational design, educational leadership, teaching and learning research, and field based practices. SEED was developed based on research with input from various stakeholder groups.

Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs)

The structures for professional learning as part of SEED are called Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs). CLC meetings are an integral part of SEED. Research indicates that meetings serve as opportunities to share new ideas, discuss issues that have arisen in practice, collaborate with others, and evaluate student achievement or educational programmes (Klein, 2005). During SEED CLC meetings, educators collaborate to make informed decisions. This requires a non-threatening environment and trusting relationships between and among stakeholder groups. This CLC meeting structure begins with district administrators meeting, analyzing data, and designing a district blueprint that includes an overarching focus area(s). Teacher, Campus, Principal, and District CLCs then design roadmaps to align goals to the overarching focus area(s). The district blueprint might include focus areas such as language acquisition, critical thinking, and writing.

Goals for each CLC meeting might include the following:

  • Teacher CLC: Ask questions at the creative, evaluative, and/or analysis levels that focus on the objective of the lesson and provoke thought and discussion.
  • Campus CLC: Engage all students in complex, higher-order thinking and real-life problem solving connections.
  • Principal CLC: Monitor the effectiveness of critical thinking instructional practices and impact on student learning.
  • District CLC: Provide services and supports, as requested, to build capacity in the focus area of critical thinking.

This aligned approach focuses on systemic change and allows for ownership and learning at each CLC level: teacher, campus, principal and district. CLC goals, set at each level, reflect identified areas for student and standards-based focus and align to teacher or principal evaluation standards. New learning takes place in small, collaborative groups of teachers, campus leaders, principals, and district administrators who work to impact teaching in order to address a specific student need they have identified through focused data analysis. CLC meetings aren’t intended to focus solely on pedagogy, but rather to work on subject specific and student focused strategies. New learning is then tracked by monitoring the progress of students through their work.


The Texas Teacher Residency Program (TxTRP) provides a system of targeted support for teachers who are new to the profession. Districts have the opportunity to expand the residency programs to include “developing” educators—as determined based on outcomes from the evaluation systems—who may also benefit from this additional degree of intensive support. The TxTRP provides mentoring and individualized job-embedded support to novice teachers. The TxTRP draws on the medical model approach to provide an additional degree of support and peer guidance that novice teachers often lack (Darling-Hammond, 2013; TEA, 2015; Wei, et al., 2009). The TxTRP supplies the new teachers with intensive and individualized coaching, mentoring, training, and support by highly effective and well-trained Attending Teachers. Teachers who have received an effectiveness rating of “highly effective” will have an opportunity to apply for the role of Attending Teacher. They will receive an annual stipend for assuming this role and will receive an additional stipend if their mentee receives an effectiveness rating of “effective” or higher after the year of mentoring. The Attending Teachers will receive release time from their classroom duties to work with the novice teacher. This time out of the classroom affords the Attending Teacher the opportunity to engage in co-teaching, peer observations, instructional rounds and hands-on support with the novice teacher. The amount and frequency of the release time from the classroom will be a joint decision of the principal, attending teacher, and the teacher resident.