3 Guiding Principles

As administrators and policy makers strive for all educators to reach their professional promise, they must ask: How can teachers meet high professional standards if they doubt their value to the school community? How can they meet and exceed expectations if they are not professionally engaged? How can they set and reach professional goals if they do not see a purpose in doing so? If teachers are to enjoy professional, personal, and collegial success, they must believe in themselves, be actively engaged in the school, and see the connection between their efforts and the goals they set for themselves. When these experiences are present, teachers' aspirations flourish and performance improves.

The Guiding Principles provide educators with a practical model that can be used to guide professional experiences, from individual classroom teachers to the entire school staff as a whole. If professional development, goal setting, and evaluation support each of the Guiding Principles, teachers will be more likely to achieve professional and personal success.

The 3 Guiding Principles are:


Self-Worth occurs when teachers know they are valued members of the school community, have a colleague in their lives they can trust and learn from, and believe their effort and hard work are recognized and celebrated in a variety of ways.


Engagement happens when teachers are deeply involved in their professional experiences, as characterized by enthusiasm and desire for learning new things, and a willingness to take positive, healthy steps toward the future.


Purpose exists when teachers take responsibility for who and what they want to become, not only in terms of their professional careers, but also by being confident, responsible members of their community

Educators put these Guiding Principles into action using the next part of the Aspirations Framework: 8 Conditions That Make a Difference™.