There is a Texas edTPA pilot going on right now as the first phase in changing from the PPR or Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test.  The move is designed to have an exam that better determines the knowledge of our Texas Teachers.

We are already working on it with our North Carolina Teachers – and we continue to monitor both the good and the bad from edTPA.

So it was kind of cool to see this article on Northern Illinois University that had a 100% pass rate on edTPA this year from their teachers.  My first thought is – what did they do?

Notes from the article –

  • Her math lesson focused on two-dimensional shapes, including their associated vocabulary and spellings. She devised and developed her original lesson with her cooperating teacher but, after watching the video filmed that day, decided to revise and deliver it again.
  • Fellow May graduate Aaron Goodin also honed in on the edTPA’s insistence on active learning. “edTPA really focuses on multimodal learning and the active nature of children’s learning – visual, audio, hands-on kinesthetic activities,” says Goodin, who also earned a B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. “The edTPA is looking for students to be actually engaged and not just sitting there.”
  • Goodin, who student-taught in a second-grade classroom at Rockford’s Johnson Elementary School, based his edTPA submission on a cross-disciplinary science lesson about nature.

I think the most important take from the article was that you have to do the work on edTPA to be successful

  • Both took advantage of free workshops offered on weekends, and both were equipped with resources (“Making Good Choices” support resource and handbooks) to help guide decision making prior to their successful edTPA submissions.  “I started preparing over winter break, when we were in between semesters. I read through the manual once, again and a third, fourth and fifth time until I felt like I really had it and understood all of the components that I needed to do,” Morrison says. “I feel like I was really focused, and reading the handbook helped.”The handbook included guidance on how to achieve the highest scores, she adds.

So  – understand that edTPA takes a lot of prep work, it can help your teaching practice, it is a lot of work BUT you can pass the it!!