How We Teach

  • Introduction

    This website has been created by and for educators in Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS). Its purpose is to establish common understanding and implementation of effective instructional practices. We encourage teachers in our district to use their inherent creativity, even as we urge adherence to specific content area guidelines at each grade level.  Educators at Montessori, Language Immersion, and IB sites will also have variations that apply to their programs.

    How We Teach also presents an overview of the key principles we believe must inform all teaching – and indeed every decision, large or small – in Saint Paul Public Schools: racial equity, personalized learning through technology, and college and career readiness.

    This is a work in progress.


  • Using This Guide

    How We Teach works in tandem with content area curriculum and content guides, which detail what we teach: standards, instructional strategies, and materials. How We Teach is also meant to be used alongside Standards of Effective Teaching (SET) to guide instructional practices of SPPS educators and administrators. How We Teach provides an overarching design for the how of instruction, and SET is a tool for feedback and reflection.

    The first section of How We Teach looks at the district’s guiding principles – racial equity, personalized learning through technology, and college and career readiness – and how they support teaching and learning in SPPS. We briefly address district ideals for student experience, learning environment, and educator practice. While we recognize that some of the practices described are works in progress, they represent the overall how of our commitment to ensuring all students achieve. The section continues with thoughts on academic rigor.

    The Academic Services section describes services that support PK-12 instruction as a whole.

    The section on Content Area Expectations describes the philosophy of SPPS pedagogy for each content area and provides guidelines for how daily instruction takes place, with links to additional resources.