Rebecca Wolfe and Ryan MacDonald on Educator Competencies

This episode of the Getting Smart Podcast is sponsored by Screencastify.

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Rebecca Midles (@AKRebecca) sits down with Rebecca Wolfe (@rewolfe13), Vice President of Impact and Improvement at Knowledgeworks, and Ryan MacDonald, Senior Program Associate on the Student-Centered Learning team at the Council of Chief State School Officers.

They discuss the updated version of the Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Environments, a new customizable toolkit and a district usage map.

Listen in to hear more about the competency toolkit, the pandemic’s impact on SEL and equity and what’s coming next.

Ryan and Rebecca Wolfe first met during a wild snowstorm and spent time together at Students at the Center. Educators were hearing “what does student-centered look like” and state leaders were asking “how do we build standards around this.” They have been working on identifying an answer since 2015.

Educator competency work came from the field. They investigated pre-existing frameworks and resources for good teachers and learners. Together, they crosswalked 12 different versions of teacher standards with a small group of organizations who worked alongside them.

The team has continued to iterate on it based on additional findings in the field. As it stands, the report has had contributions and feedback from over 160 different stakeholders, including students, civil rights leaders, double the original amount of educators.

This report is grouped into four different domains:

There are a few major focus areas with the recent update: “we wanted to have a better understanding of how the reports were being utilized, wanted to make sure tech still resonated and represented the field, we kept equity at the forefront, and wanted to make it more usable/personalizable for the educators.”

“There are so many ways to enter this tool […] We said these shouldn’t be evaluative out of the gate, we just want to encourage use. We still don’t want them to be punitive but we do have hope now that if we were going to build new educator prep systems if we were to re-envision how we build standards, I would have that folks would at least look at this document.”

Rebecca and Ryan would love for you to share your story of educator competencies with them. Go to to share your story of how you used them.

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The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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