Teacher Education

How to Do edTPA the Easy Way, Not the Hard Way

How to Do edTPA the Easy Way, Not the Hard Way

edTPA the easy way? Don’t worry, it’s possible.

Many states are finding their footing with edTPA standards. And plenty of educators find these new standards cumbersome, intimidating, and just plain frustrating.

You might be wondering, “is edTPA just designed to be hard?” Thankfully the answer is no because we’re about to show you how to do edTPA the easy way.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Making and Submitting edTPA Videos

Getting started

This program can be daunting, but you are far from the first supervisor or admin to tackle edTPA and help your student teachers earn great scores.

Try talking to your colleagues. Find someone you trust who’s done edTPA before and might be willing to answer your questions. If they understand the objectives of your specific teacher education program, that’s even better!

This is the exact advice from edTPA academy consultant, Dr. Lisa Barron. In an edTPA episode for The Teacher Education Podcast, she says the first step is to “find those people in your faculty who are willing to invest the time, have a postiive attitude and positive energy towards it, and then provide that small group with the resources they need.”

For a little extra credit on this philosophy, Dr. Barron recommends checking out Good to Great, by Jim Collins.

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Next, lean on your resources

Make sure you know what information is out there to make edTPA not just possible but simple. We’re looking for edTPA the easy way, and that usually starts with knowing your options.

Your edTPA handbook

This is the place to learn your requirements and find any little quirks specific to your discipline. This book is your bible. It should be your teacher candidate’s bible too. Stick to it and you both can’t go wrong.

The official edTPA resource library

This webpage is stuffed to the breaking point with useful guides and answers to your questions.

The ultimate guide on edTPA videos

 The video portion of edTPA is usually the most stressful requirement for students to complete. This guide walks you through all the tips and resources you need to prepare your teacher canddiates for their video submissions.

Dr. Lisa Barron also stresses knowing your resources as you venture out into the world of edTPA. But in the same breath, she warns fauclty of feeling like they need to know everything before they start.

Working with programs switching to edTPA, she has seen faculty and programs become paralyzed because they don’t feel comoftable with edTPA yet. Her advice?

“You just got to jump into the deep end of the edTPA pool. Just jump in and start with a small group of candidates, not with your whole program, but just a small group.”

—Dr. Lisa Barron, Austin Peay State University

In other words, baby steps! Don’t try to memorize the resources—just diligently use them.

Dive in and check in frequently

Many student teachers need more help and encouragement than their supervisors realize. Even if you have a pretty hands-off approach, it’s still a great idea to follow up often so your teaching interns aren’t falling behind.

The easiest way to keep things easy is to check in along the way. Stay in contact with student teachers via email and take a moment during observations to see how they’re feeling. Keeping an open line of communication will identify problems early and address them long before the application is due.

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These three steps will save you so many headaches in the long run. The real secret to doing edTPA the easy way is to figure out the requirements early, lean on your resources, and stay on track through the process.

For more edTPA hacks, read 13 edTPA Tips No Student Should Live Without.