Master Teacher program

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The Master Teacher Program is a way to recognize and honor teachers who go above and beyond expectations. It creates a resource of teacher leaders to advance the profession and encourages high quality teachers to remain in the classroom. The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Educator Standards conducted training sessions throughout the state last summer and fall to familiarize district personnel with Master Teacher program responsibilities for districts, local committees and teachers.


Examples of best practices: Some districts are partnering with local universities to create an online graduate class for Master Teacher candidates. Other districts have established special district or community recognition programs for Master Teachers. To share successful practices from your district or region, click here and search keywords: MT best practices.


In January, ODE will solicit feedback from all districts about Master Teacher processes and forms. The comments and suggestions from districts will assist ODE as they consider program changes for the spring. For your convenience we will provide a link on the OFT website when the feedback mechanism is posted on the ODE website.


More about the Master Teacher program


A master teacher demonstrates excellence inside and outside of the classroom through consistent leadership and focused collaboration to maximize student learning. A master teacher strives for distinguished teaching and continued professional growth as specified by the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession.


School districts must report their number of Master Teachers at both the building and district levels on the Local Report Card beginning in the fall of 2008, as mandated by Senate Bill 2.


While the trainings are geared toward administrative personnel, the training covers how Master Teachers are defined and reviews the process to select a Master Teacher. Components of the training include: how to form the Master Teacher Committee; review of the application and criteria for becoming an Ohio Master Teacher; examination of the rubric used to review the application, as well as a Q&A session. 


The Ohio Federation of Teachers supports the professionalization of teaching. Understanding that there are some teachers who will demonstrate knowledge and skills that exceed others, we support teachers taking charge of their profession and assuming additional roles and responsibilities in their workplace. However, we also believe that teachers should be properly compensated when taking on more responsibility. The legislation that dictated the creation of the Master Teacher designation did not come with any additional resources to implement the program. Because the number of Master Teachers will be reported on the building and district local report card, it will be expected that teachers will seek this designation. It is advisable to be aware of components that need to be addressed in contract language or a memorandum of understanding in designing the Master Teacher Program in your local (in many ways, it mirrors the LPDC - Local Professional Development Committee - concept.)


Below are essential concepts of any contract language or memo to keep in mind.


1.       Establish the Master Teacher (MT) committee and indicate it is for the purpose of designating teachers in the district as Master Teachers.

2.       Set out the composition of the committee and who appoints the members. There need to be at least five committee members and the majority must be teachers. It is advised that the union chooses the teacher members of the committee. 

3.       Indicate that the committee shall develop the plan of operation including, but not limited to, time/location of meeting; the process used to review applications, including timelines; as well as a communication plan to disseminate information to union members and an appeals procedure. (Like the LPDC the appeals procedure should be linked to process.)

4.       Establish terms of office for members of the committee; method to fill vacancies as they arise.

5.       Clarify that the MT committee is separate from evaluation and employment decisions.

6.       Assure that the MT committee will receive training to perform their responsibilities.

7.       Establish a compensation system that awards supplemental contracts or is based on an hourly rate.

8.       Assure that the MT committee will have adequate resources (space, equipment, support services, etc.) to do the job.


See more information on the Master Teacher Program:


Master Teacher Definition and Criteria 


Master Teacher Processes and Procedures


Master Teacher Application


Master Teacher Scoring Guide


Master Teacher Designation


Master Teacher Recommendation Form


Master Teacher Writing/Evidence Guidelines


Master Teacher Examples of Evidence


One-Page Version of Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession


M Master Teacher At a Glance