The edTPA or educative teacher performance assessment is a performance-based, teacher preparation program given across 40 states to emphasize the skills and knowledge teachers need from day one in the classroom. This subject-specific assessment builds on the work of teaching performance and research and helps improve student teaching programs. The edTPA require teacher candidates the opportunity to demonstrate that they have what it takes to be in the classroom and ensure that their students are learning. The following tips will help any individual getting ready to take the exam and be successful.
Communicate with the cooperating teacher
The cooperating teacher helping to prepare you for the exam will be one of your most valuable resources throughout the entire process. They will be familiar with your students and will know your strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. They can also help you make decisions on what lessons to teach during your edTPA and allow you to pinpoint exactly what your students’ needs are during the assessment.
Planning makes perfect
The edTPA requires teachers to have three to five lessons on a subject-specific learning segment. It is not important to create a unit from scratch, but adapt it to meet the needs of your students. The lesson should also fit any standards currently in place in the school district. It is also important to make sure you are 100% familiar with the lesson before instructing your students.
Make sure to quantify and qualify your evidence in the commentaries you give about your lesson. This is the best way to show proof that you understand what goes on in the classroom as a whole and understand your student’s various needs. It is important to gather this information before the edTPA to use as a collection of evidence that you can refer back to when justifying your teaching choices.
Focus on interactions
When it comes time to record your exam, you should focus on the students and allow your scores to reflect what they have learned and can do in the classroom. After your edTPA, you will have the opportunity to justify your teaching choices and fill in the blanks if anything was missed. The edTPA is not looking to assess your expertise, but to see the choices you make based on your knowledge of your students. It is important to make sure these choices are reflected in the commentaries and the recording of your lesson.