NWT Competency-based Educator Standards

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is pleased to pilot draft Northwest Territories (NWT) Competency-Based Educator Standards for certified teachers in 2022-23.

The Standards describe the professional expectations for all certified teachers working in the territory, and guide their professional development.

The Standards are intended to form the basis of how Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) educators are evaluated by principals, as well as how they are supported through a variety of professional development and training opportunities over the course of their career within the NWT education system.

The Standards guide educators in their instruction and development over time, so students and families likely won't notice any immediate changes at the classroom level.

Small-scale pilot

The characteristics of a successful educator go beyond a checklist of skills, which is why the professional standards are based on competencies: the knowledge, skills and values a successful NWT educator should be able to demonstrate and transfer to their professional context and beyond. As demonstrated in research, a strong relationship exists between student achievement, teacher wellness, and professional capacity.

The GNWT will introduce the Standards to educators in Fall of 2022 through a small-scale pilot, which includes an educator survey, Q&A sessions, and the opportunity to participate in an in-school trial in January 2023.

Feedback from the small-scale pilot will be used to refine the Standards and inform the development of a renewed growth and evaluation model for teachers.

NWT-wide implementation of the NWT Competency-Based Educator Standards and a renewed teacher growth and evaluation model is anticipated for the 2024-25 school year.

Background of Standards

The GNWT developed the draft NWT Competency-Based Educator Standards in part by reviewing educator standards and best practices in other jurisdictions including Nunavut, British Columbia, and Australia.

NWT education body superintendents and the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association were actively engaged in the development process and will continue to have input on the Standards.

While these are the NWT’s first professional Educator Standards, NWT educators have always been required to maintain and meet high standards to obtain teacher certification, such as holding a Bachelor of Education or early childhood educator diploma, or have education and proficiency in an Indigenous language.

The majority of Canadian jurisdictions have developed standards for educators. In many jurisdictions, professional standards inform teacher certification (i.e., a teacher must demonstrate they meet the standards to receive certification). A jurisdiction’s standards also guide post-secondary education and professional development programs, aligning in order to prepare teachers to become certified.