I remember the first day of my teacher preparation program like it was yesterday. The director and assistant director made it seem like the next year of our lives was going to be our last, full of rigor and demands topped off by a capstone piece called edTPA.

At the time, I had more questions about this performance-based assessment than I did while taking college chemistry. I soon learned that it was designed to assess whether new teachers were ready for the job by evaluating videos of them teaching, along with lesson plans, student work samples, analyses of students’ learning, and reflective commentaries.

Dive Deeper

Learn about edTPA and what it means for you.

But little did I know how important a role this assessment would play in my efficacy as a teacher. Here are three ways edTPA prepared me for the classroom:

1. I became accountable to students. Part of being an effective teacher is knowing your students and their families. During the edTPA process, candidates must familiarize themselves with their students’ strengths and weaknesses and plan around students’ readiness for learning. This is critical for effective teaching and helps me know where my students have shown growth and where they need intervention.

2. I learned to analyze my teaching. Another key aspect of edTPA is providing detailed reflection on your practice. Candidates must write commentaries about their lessons, justify why they made certain instructional choices, and demonstrate an understanding of their students as learners. For example, which students need more practice with a skill? Who is ready to move forward?

Log in or become a member to read more!
Want to read the rest of this article? Pi Lambda Theta members enjoy full access to Educational Horizons online.