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Firsthand reflections on the edTPA

Illinois State University graduates teaching at the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative’s Southbury Elementary School in Oswego, IL. (From left) Julie Tantillo '10, Haley Moroni '12, Colleen Meismer '07, and Maddi Euhus '13.

College of Education alumni teaching at the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative’s Southbury Elementary School in Oswego: (from left) Julie Tantillo '10, Haley Moroni '12, Colleen Meismer '07, and Maddi Euhus '13.

Maddi Euhus ’13 is a second-year teacher at the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative’s Southbury Elementary School in Oswego. She works with first and second grade students in her school’s autism program. Euhus completed the edTPA in spring 2013. As one of the first students to go through the assessment during her student teaching semester, the College of Education caught up with the first-year teacher to find out how the experience has served her postgraduation.

Do you believe your education at Illinois State prepared you for the edTPA? 

The edTPA seemed like a daunting task when it was first assigned. However, as I read through the questions, I realized that I was already expected to do this work on a lesser scale in my clinical experiences. We are held to such high expectations in our classes and clinical experiences that the edTPA is really a chance to show what we have learned. All of my experiences at ISU helped me to develop into the best educator I can be!

Maddi Euhus '13

Maddi Euhus ’13

In your view, what are some of the valuable aspects of the edTPA for educators? 

I believe the edTPA helps teachers to be aware of several responsibilities we are expected to fulfill on a daily basis. These include

  • Fulfilling the core expectations of purposeful planning and preparation
  • Establishing a welcoming and supportive classroom environment
  • Delivering meaningful and assessment-driven instruction
  • Being held accountable to the professional responsibilities we have to students, colleagues, and parents

Did this experience help you during the initial interview process and for teacher evaluation? 

Yes, on both counts. During my interview, I showed samples of my lesson plans and projects I had completed for edTPA. They all aligned with the Danielson Framework for Teaching, and highlighted the extensive planning and preparation I put into each lesson. Further, the evaluation tool that my administrator uses is directly aligned to the Danielson Framework for Teaching, so I felt comfortable before my first assessment because I knew what my administrator would be watching for. For evaluations, I am expected to reflect on each of the 22 components of the Danielson Framework for Teaching twice each year. I wholeheartedly believe the edTPA prepared me to perform well on these evaluations.

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