Voices From the Field:
One of my wonderful student teachers last year Erica took some time to give me insights on what helped her pass edTPA with flying colors.
Here is a Q and A with some helpful tips:
- What did you do to prepare for the real edTPA
To prepare for the real edTPA I spent the start of the year doing a practice edTPA. The practice encouraged me to teach and take the lead in my first placement. As far as other preparations, I used a planner to help plan out my personal goals for when I would have tasks done. Communication with your collaborating teacher (CT) is the best way to prepare. CTs are ultimately your biggest support system and great person to lean on.
- How would you recommend managing your time while student teaching, attending classes and completing edTPA?
Everyone has their own methods for time management. Ultimately my personal weekly planner helped me remember important due dates, events, classes, people’s birthdays, date nights. Time management is based on priorities. There were sometimes when I would spend all weekend in the library and not see my friends but it was all worth it when I finished edTPA in April. I would spend an hour each day on edTPA which cut down the weekends I had to spend strictly on it. Make a schedule for yourself and make sure you stick to it!
- What was the most challenging part of edTPA for you?
The most challenging part of edTPA was the aspect of not being able to focus on anything but edTPA. Ultimately edTPA isn’t the most fun thing you’ll do all year but it’s very important. It’s a lot of work but just remember that once it’s done it’s actually done and it’s so worth it!
4. What or who helped you the most? Did you use any outside resources such as websites to help you?
My guide leader, classmates, teachers, and CT were all great resources while completing my edTPA. Use your resources and ask lots of questions!
- What takeaway from edTPA would you take to your “real” life teaching?
The three big things I took away from edTPA were: time management, importance of data in teaching, and lesson planning.
- If you were to do edTPA again what if anything would you do differently?
I would have done more self-care. I worked very hard and got good scores. I would have given myself more reminders that it will be okay and more breaks to relax. I would have been kinder to myself throughout the process.
- Include anything else that might be helpful to students as they get ready for edTPA…
I just want students to know they are entering the most exciting time of their life and edTPA doesn’t define what their teaching experience will be like. Get it done and teaching is so much fun!