Portrait of a Teacher

Initial Instructional Certification

In selecting students for the MAT program, Montclair State University uses criteria which are related to the kinds of knowledge, abilities, dispositions and character we expect graduates of our Program to possess. "The Portrait of a Teacher" outlined below is a model toward which students in the Program strive. In making decisions on acceptance to the Program, faculty consider such criteria as GPA, knowledge of content of major area of study, commitment to teaching and its varied responsibilities, and communication abilities, both written and oral. These criteria enable faculty to assess the likelihood that candidates will achieve the goals inherent in the "Portrait of a Teacher".

The Montclair State University community is committed to the continuing development of teachers who exemplify the character, dispositions and habits of mind reflected in this portrait. They:

  • continue to inquire into the nature of teaching and learning and reflect upon their own professional practice.
  • believe in the educability of all children and seek to ensure equal learning opportunities for every student.
  • possess the literacy, critical thinking and technology abilities associated with the concept of an educated person and are committed to lifelong learning. They speak and write English fluently and communicate clearly.
  • have content knowledge which includes a strong sense of the concepts, purposes and intellectual processes associated with the discipline they will teach.
  • understand the effects of human development on the learning of children, adolescents and adults and are committed to providing a nurturing and caring environment for all students.
  • possess the skills and dispositions necessary to establish a classroom environment that stimulates critical thinking and inquiry.
  • understand principles of democracy and plan instruction to promote critical reflection on the ideals, values and practices of democratic citizenship.
  • understand and are committed to the moral, ethical and enculturating responsibilities of those who work in the school.
  • model respect for individual differences and an appreciation of the basic worth of each individual. They plan instruction and assessment with sensitivity to issues of class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and special needs, and work to foster an appreciation of diversity among students and co-workers.
  • are committed to their role as a stewards of renewal and best practice in the schools and they possess the interpersonal skills and dispositions to work cooperatively and collaboratively with colleagues.
  • are willing to explore a career in a variety of settings-urban, suburban and rural.