Monday, October 12, 2015

Training Teacher for edTPA, a New Certification for Teachers

A new system of certification for teachers edTPA caused a lot of controversy and debates. The debate is never ending but the training of teachers needs to be adjusted to this new professional demand.

I have been always video-taping teacher candidates and since my first years of designing and teaching education courses I required students to keep blogs for developing their reflective thinking and create their professional e-folios to learn how to add the content to their professional portfolios and make their personal professional story. Now it is a nation wide requirement!

Last year I was asked to design a professional web mix of the resources about and of edTPA and I was awarded some grant money for that!

Student teachers like the resource. This year I have been supervising student teachers and noticed that some are afraid of using other lesson plan formats than just a direct instruction lesson plan framework. I requested to make a workshop for student teachers and called it "Implementing edTPA: From Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered Continuum" and explained to them how important it s to use a variety of pedagogical methods in teaching diverse learners. It is always safe and effective to start introducing new content, concepts and skills with the direct instruction and follow all its steps and then after reaching the mastery of the content encourage students' critical thinking skills, inquiry and exploration via problem-solving and inquiry-based approach and engage learners eventually in cooperative learning projects to show the results of the learned and mastered concepts and skills. MY presentation was a success. I created and shared the google folder with the three types of lesson plan formats and illustrated the continuum with the examples from the field. One of my current student teachers shared her experience with the lesson plans' design and implementation and how rewarding it was for her to see the educational effects of this approach to teaching and planning.  Almost every day I am getting now messages from student teachers to look over their lesson plans and give them advice on how to improve their lessons and teaching.