Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Post written by: Erin O'Connor
Year: Senior
Major(s): English
Minor(s): STEP

The EdTPA has been this huge looming force hanging over my head throughout the semester. I guess that’s because there were so many unknown factors. I basically heard we had to do this huge assignment pertaining to analyzing my teaching and how it aligned with modern research through video clips of me in front of the classroom. The very idea of watching myself teach and then picking apart what was successful and not successful was stressful in itself. On top of that, the thought of finding research that backed up why I did the things I did sounded very intimidating as well.

However, once I actually started diving into the process, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Once I figured out the right balance between being detailed enough but also general enough, the writing started to come easily. Finding research was also fairly easy because at this point in my education career, I have read so many articles and books on teaching strategies. Once I picked out a strategy that I saw myself using, I could easily think of an article that I have read in the past and stick a little citation in.

Because I am in Field II, I am only composing a “mini” EdTPA (meaning that I am only working with about half of the material I will be working with in the full EdTPA that I will complete when I am student teaching next semester). However, completing this “mini” EdTPA has reduced my anxiety about completing the full EdTPA by about a million times. I feel like the point of this assessment is just to see that you are composing detailed lesson plans that are based in modern research; to see that you know why it is that you are doing the things you are doing; and to see that you are a reflective practitioner. These are all things that the education program here at UWL instills in your brain throughout your college experience. So, if you are like one-month-ago-Erin and the word “EdTPA” brings a clenching to your jaw and a cold sweat to your forehead, RELAX!! Its really not that bad.