Just as my eldest son and I linked hands at the top of Mt. Lincoln in New Hampshire after a hard climb along the Franconia Ridge, so the five propositions of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, arrived at after much hard work and sweat, form a link between a teacher's performance and his aspirations.

The Five Core Propositions of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
From the website "NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. It was formed in 1987 to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching, creating a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts."
Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning

* Teachers are dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all students. They believe all students can learn.
* They treat students equitably. They recognize the individual differences that distinguish their students from one another
  and they take account for these differences in their practice.
* Teachers understand how students develop and learn.
* They respect the cultural and family differences students bring to their classroom.
* They are concerned with their students' self-concept, their motivation and the effects of learning on peer relationships.
* Teachers are also concerned with the development of character and civic responsibility.

Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students.

* Teachers have mastery over the subject(s) they teach. They have a deep understanding of the history, structure and
  real-world applications of the subject.
* They have skill and experience in teaching it, and they are very familiar with the skills gaps and preconceptions students
  may bring to the subject.
* They are able to use diverse instructional strategies to teach for understanding.

Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning.

* Teachers deliver effective instruction. They move fluently through a range of instructional techniques, keeping students
  motivated, engaged and focused.
* They know how to engage students to ensure a disciplined learning environment, and how to organize instruction to meet
  instructional goals.
* Teachers know how to assess the progress of individual students as well as the class as a whole.
* They use multiple methods for measuring student growth and understanding, and they can clearly explain student
  performance to parents.
Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience.

* Teachers model what it means to be an educated person - they read, they question, they create and they are willing to try
  new things.
* They are familiar with learning theories and instructional strategies and stay abreast of current issues in American
  education.
* They critically examine their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of skills, and
  incorporate new findings into their practice.
Proposition 5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities.

* Teachers collaborate with others to improve student learning.
* They are leaders and actively know how to seek and build partnerships with community groups and businesses.
* They work with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development and staff development.
* They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of resources in order to meet state and local education objectives.
* They know how to work collaboratively with parents to engage them productively in the work of the school.