New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard




            Positions in this class utilize professional training and experience to plan lessons and curriculums and instruct and evaluate the performance and progress of clients who are in the charge of a State agency in academic and commercial subjects.


            Positions exist in such agencies as the Office of Mental Health, the Department of Correctional Services, and the Office of Children and Family Services and function within institutional and community settings where Teachers may be required to function in a security oriented setting.


            Teachers deal with learners having a broad range of physical and mental aptitudes, abilities, interests, social and academic backgrounds and ages in addition to some behavioral physical, mental or emotional problems.




            Teachers at each of the four levels perform essentially the same instructional tasks.  However, some of the more experienced teachers may perform specialized tasks in curriculum planning and preparation of individualized programming and community relations.  These levels are distinguished from each other by the incumbent’s level of academic preparation, type of professional certification achieved and length and appropriateness of teaching experience.


            Positions in these classes are distinguished from other classes involved in the rehabilitation and education process by the following characteristics:




-          instruct a course in an academic or commercial discipline, as recognized by the New York State Education Department


-          prepare or modify curriculum and course outlines


-          prepare daily or weekly lesson plans


-          conduct a schedule of formal instruction for client learners of a State agency


-          devise methods and conduct evaluations of the performance and progress of learners


Teachers who supervise others in the instruction of learners usually provide assistance in both course preparation activities and instructional techniques.


Teachers generally perform the tasks and activities listed in this standard within the framework of a discipline closely related to their academic preparation and professional certification.  However, the characteristics and educational needs of the facility’s client population frequently change requiring the assignment of Teachers to plan, instruct and evaluate clients in other disciplines.


Those Teachers assigned to a facility with a heavy concentration of Spanish speaking clients and who are required to have the ability to speak and understand conversational Spanish are classified as Teacher (Spanish Language).


The four levels of Vocational Instructor have these same basic characteristics except their curriculums and courses of instruction are in a recognized trade or a very closely related occupational field as recognized by the New York State Department of Education.  These programs involve extensive practical applications of theory.


There are a number of positions in State service responsible for training agency staff.  The various classes of Teacher are not appropriate for performing tasks, other than on an occasional basis, associated with the conduct of such training.  Tasks associated with staff development and training are generally classified in the Agency Training and Development Specialist series or under special agency titles.




Makes plans for teaching assignment consistent with and based on overall course objectives.


-          Determines learning needs, abilities and other relevant facts for the individuals scheduled for the class from available records and from program staff.  In some instances these determinations are made jointly with members of an interdisciplinary treatment or evaluation team.


-          May administer standard tests to assess a learner’s abilities and development.


-          Administers standard subject matter tests to determine a learner’s proper achievement in the subject field.


-          Utilizes an approved standard syllabus in an academic or commercial subject area and/or may modify or develop a syllabus to meet the special needs of the group and individuals in the group.


-          Prepares daily or weekly lesson plan, scheduling each phase of each lesson following the course outline.


-          From daily lesson plan, determines need for and requests texts, review books, workbooks, teaching aids, materials and equipment.


-          Determines need for and requests a Teaching Assistant for the period of a specific project or activity.


Conducts or in some cases supervises the class session using the daily lesson plan as a guide.  Instruction is typically individualized as learners are usually performing at different stages in a course.


-          By the employment of appropriate teaching techniques and a display of enthusiasm for the subject, the teacher motivates, arouses interest and stimulates the participation of each learner in a class.


-          Maintains control in the class and, if necessary, requests assistance following prescribed facility policy.


-          Provides individual attention and assistance as required to meet the varied needs and abilities of the learners to insure that all are benefiting from the instruction.


-          May deviate from the lesson plan or use a variety of teaching techniques to adjust to the varied interests and abilities of individuals in the class.


Evaluates the learner’s performance and progress in the class.


-          Develops tests on a unit of study or utilizes approved standard tests.


-          Periodically administers oral or written subject matter tests on a unit of study and/or observes classroom performance to determine a learner’s achievement and needs.


-          Based on an analysis of the test results and their regular performance in the classroom against the teacher’s background knowledge of the learner, the progress and learning problems of the individual learners are identified and recorded.


-          The learner experiencing difficulty is counseled and aided by the teacher to improve performance.


-          Prepares written reports describing learners’ progress and/or behavior.


-          May participate as a member of a treatment or rehabilitation team by providing information and evaluative judgments in order that an individual’s total program can be evaluated and necessary modifications made.


May supervise others in the instruction of learners in that they review lesson plans, demonstrate or suggest appropriate teaching techniques in dealing with difficult learning problems, observe conduct of classes and critique performance.


May speak on the facility’s education program before community and other interested groups.


May attend training seminars, conferences and workshops to further professional growth.


In a facility where such activity is permitted, may plan and lead a field trip in support of a unit of study.


May perform some of the administrative tasks of an Education Supervisor in the latter’s absence.  This is usually done by a more experienced Teacher at the 3 or 4 level.


Inasmuch as incumbents of many of these positions function within an institutional setting, they occasionally are required to perform tasks designed to assist in maintaining the required level of security.




            Teachers have continual face-to-face verbal communication with learners in a group or on an individual basis for the purpose of communicating ideas and concepts.  Similarly they receive written and verbal information from learners which must be assessed and responded to.  Relationships with the Education Supervisor or Director is one of providing written and verbal evaluation reports and attending and participating in periodic meetings designed to exchange information, discuss problems and plan instruction.


            Teachers participate in discussions with other members of the program or treatment staff for the purpose of assessing and modifying the learners’ program to more effectively meet their needs.


            On occasion the more experienced Teachers, typically at the 3 or 4 level, will speak before community or other interested groups to discuss the facility’s education program.




            Teachers work independently or as a team in their planning, teaching and evaluating activities.  Supervisory controls, established by the Education Supervisor or Director, are primarily through regular observations, staff meetings and reports to insure that an approved syllabus or course outline is followed.  Classroom visits are usually initiated by the Education Supervisor or Director.  They review written and verbal reports of learners’ performance and progress.  Periodic meetings and conferences are held by this supervisor with Teachers to discuss and plan education programs and teaching methods in response to specific problems.


            Although the large majority of positions in these classes are non-supervisory, a more experienced teacher, normally at the 3 or 4 level, on occasion assists the Education Supervisor or Director in orienting new teachers to the facility and to the agency’s education philosophy.  In addition, Teaching Assistants, volunteers or other instructors drawn from a treatment or rehabilitation team may work under the direction of a teacher on a specific project either on a full or part-time basis.




-          Working knowledge of the theory, principles and techniques of teaching.


-          Working knowledge of agency’s policies and procedures governing the client group.


-          Working knowledge of the subject matter taught.


-          Ability to develop effective relations with individual learners.


-          Ability to motivate learners.


-          Ability to apply different teaching approaches to meet specific teaching situations.


-          Ability to effectively verbally communicate ideas to learners.


-          Ability to evaluate and record learners’ performance and progress.


-          Ability to plan and implement course outlines and lesson plans.

-          Ability to speak on education programs before community and other interested groups.


In addition, those Teachers who supervise others in the instruction process must have


-          Working knowledge of the principles and practice of supervision.


-          Ability to supervise a small staff of professional and/or paraprofessional instructors.




            Level 1:  Bachelor’s Degree including satisfactory completion of the semester hours required for the teaching specialty.


            Level 2.  Bachelor’s Degree with provisional teaching certificate appropriate to the teaching specialty.


            Level 3:  Bachelor’s Degree with 30 additional graduate hours and a permanent teaching certificate appropriate to the teaching specialty.


            Level 4.  Permanent teaching certificate appropriate to the teaching specialty and two years of teaching experience in the appropriate specialty area. 


            Inasmuch as some Teachers function in very specialized programs, these basic minimum qualifications may be adjusted to include specialized education or experience to reflect these situations.


            Teachers (Spanish Language), in addition to meeting the foregoing qualifications, must pass a qualifying oral test designed to test, against the general background of the position, the ability to speak and understand conversational Spanish as spoken in the major Spanish speaking areas of New York State.






NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.