Alternative Certification

Teaching Excellence exists to accelerate teacher effectiveness in year one. 


For over a decade Teaching Excellence [“TE”] has existed to transform talent by providing exceptional coaching and professional development in order to accelerate teacher effectiveness. 

TE offers rigorous and relevant training, along with individualized coaching support, in order to increase teacher effectiveness and propel teachers’ classrooms to new levels. Proven and adopted by schools aiming for higher standards, Teaching Excellence has been responsible for the development and certification of literally thousands of teachers across both Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth.




Core Development Experiences

Teaching Excellence organizes its program around five core development experiences. 

These experiences serve as the vehicle for learning the foundational elements of effective teaching:


Induction is the foundation of teacher learning and development. This experience takes place in the summer and lasts two and a half weeks.  The goal of Induction is for teachers to be prepared to set up a strong classroom culture, establish routines and procedures, and begin the work of planning and internalizing aligned lessons.

Professional Learning Saturdays

An immense amount of learning must take place to become an effective teacher.  While Induction lays the foundation, this learning must continue over the course of the year.  Teachers participate in Professional Learning Saturdays (PLS) once a month, to continue developing their knowledge and skills around instructional best practices.  These experiences provide opportunities not only for teachers to become aware of best practices but actually implement these practices in their work.

Professional Learning Modules

Online Professional Learning Modules (PLMs) provide teachers with exposure to a wide-range of topics.  These experiences are self-guided and may include reading and reflecting on an article, implementing high impact strategies into an upcoming lesson, or doing a case study on a student or group of students.  PLMs do not follow a particular sequence, so teachers are able to choose experiences that match their current stage of development in the classroom.


Instructional Coaching 

Instructional coaching is the cornerstone of the Teaching Excellence Program.  Each Teaching Excellence Instructional Coach works with a cohort of about 17 teachers. The relatively small size of cohorts allows for frequent and regular touch points throughout the year.  Through observations and debriefs and a variety of other methods, Instructional Coaches provide individualized support that is tailored to the specific needs of their teachers.


The core development experiences listed above serve two purposes:  First, they provide multiple avenues for novice teachers to master the foundational elements of teaching. Second, with formal admission, each contributes to the requirements necessary to obtain a standard teaching certificate in the State of Texas.  The certification team of the Teaching Excellence Program provides certification candidates with guidance around timelines, test preparation, and costs associated with certification.  Additionally, individualized updates are provided throughout the year to inform candidates of their progress towards obtaining a Texas Standard Certificate. 


Elements of Effective Teaching

Teaching Excellence organizes its program around four areas that serve as the foundational elements of an effective instructional leader.  The following elements guide the framework for preparing and developing teachers:

Icons with the four elements of effective teacing

Teacher Effectiveness & Student Achievement

Our core purpose is to accelerate teacher effectiveness.  We believe exceptional coaching and professional development are the catalysts for this accelerated growth.  Teaching Excellence's Instructional Coaches partner with system-wide staff and campus Instructional Leaders to align feedback and support.  It is this aligned feedback that drives teachers to implement best practices, which results in student achievement. 

Classroom Culture

We believe that a strong classroom culture is dependent on a strong behavior management system, consistent routines and procedures, and building transformative relationships with students and families.

Instructional Planning & Delivery

We develop teachers to utilize research-based planning and instructional methods, ensuring students are being exposed to and mastering content in the most effective way possible. 

Data Driven Instruction

Instructional Coaches partner with teachers to assess their effectiveness based on how students are performing in their classrooms.  By taking a data-driven approach, we ensure that teachers are aware of students' needs and adjusting their instruction accordingly. 

Teacher Leadership

Instructional Coaches assist teachers in building the skills needed to be a leader both inside and outside the classroom.  We encourage teachers to advocate for themselves and their students.  Over the course of the year, Instructional Coaches aid teachers in becoming reflective practitioners who propel their own growth in the classroom.  


Mindsets of Effective Teaching

Teaching Excellence acknowledges and actively promotes mindsets that are culturally responsive to the needs of the communities, families, and students our teachers serve. The following mindsets guide Teaching Excellence's framework for preparing and developing teachers:

  • We joyfully love and care about students, families, and communities and view them as equal partners.
  • We are passionate about the practice of teaching and our work in this profession.
  • We are humble and willing to learn and grow.
  • We believe education and individual educators impact lives.
  • We are authentic role models and everything we do has an impact.