Preservice Educators Share Experiences with edTPA

With the emergence of edTPA, preservice educators are faced with a slew of new requirements outside of his or her college’s accredited program, and with these requirements comes uncertainty and discontinuity across college campuses and education programs in New Jersey. Below are experiences from three different preservice educators from three different colleges.

I did not hear about edTPA in any of my classes at Middlesex Community College. I had to read about it on my own, and after researching, I wonder if the government will offer any aid to help students pay for the costs of edTPA. Also, I wonder what will happen to a student teacher if he or she cannot get approval for the videotape requirement. Will schools be forced to let student teachers comprise students’ privacy for edTPA? I believe that this new requirement and its cost will make the teaching profession less desirable for future generations. – Daniela Ceballos, Middlesex County College

During my student teaching, I had to complete edTPA, and it added unnecessary stress to the experience. Rather than planning for creative and engaging lessons, I had to dedicate time to answer edTPA’s repetitive and confusing questions and writing prompts. In order to fulfill edTPA’s filming requirements, I was forced to create a learning environment that was foreign to both my students and myself because it became about teaching to get approval from whoever would watch my video rather than the students and their needs. Overall, I believe edTPA took away from my student teaching experience. – Deanna Kollar, Rowan University

I am a graduate student at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and I am currently a student teaching and piloting edTPA at my college. My student teaching seminar discusses edTPA unit plans and the fifteen rubrics that accompany it. It is a lot of work. My professor is very helpful though. She tries to make connections between edTPA and real teaching, but sometimes it still doesn’t make sense. I can appreciate that edTPA wants student teachers to think critically about lesson planning, lesson delivery, and assessment; however, the responsibility to prepare student teachers should be left to the college’s accredited education program. – Melany Reyes, Fairleigh Dickinson University Metropolitan Campus

Three different colleges, three different educators, three different experiences. In New Jersey alone, there have been reports of varying knowledge and experiences surrounding edTPA, which have caused extra pressures and anxiety for many preservice educators.

What have you heard or not heard about edTPA? What are your concerns? Have you had similar experiences as the ones mentioned above? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. We still have time to voice our concerns about edTPA and push for change. 


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