Since 2014, an increasing number of states are requiring teachers to pass the edTPA, a subject-specific performance assessment, for initial certification. The assessment has several lengthy written components, and requires submission and self-analysis of an instructional video. It can take months to complete, and this can feel overwhelming for some teachers. Thankfully, when all is said and done, most find that the overall experience was valuable and helped prepare them for their new career.

Before approaching any daunting task, it can be helpful to look at an example of a finished product. We reached out to our candidates and asked for sample submissions, and thanks to five amazing teachers, we have samples in the following subjects: TESOL K-12, Elementary Education K-6, Secondary Special Education 7-12, Secondary Mathematics 7-12, and Early Childhood Education B-2. All of these candidates passed the edTPA and are currently certified. We recommend that you browse the sample most similar to your aspiring certification, and dig into what others wish they'd known before taking the edTPA.

Our hope is that looking at samples will give you a better idea of what is expected. Enjoy - and best of luck!

Task 1: Lesson Planning Overview

Teachers provide an overview of their student population and the content they intend to teach.

Part A: Context for Learning

In this task, teachers are asked to provide information about the current needs of the population of students they plan to teach, current teaching practices, services and structures already in place for the students, and an explanation of how their content is appropriate for the population they intend to teach.

Part B: Lesson Plans

Lesson plans are created based on the needs of the students, and these lesson plans form the foundation of the entire assessment.

Part C: Materials

Teachers submit all handouts, charts, texts and other student materials associated with the lessons.

Part D: Assessment

Documents are provided that relate to student assessment including worksheets, rubrics and checklists.

Part E: Planning Commentary

This section can be up to nine pages single-spaced, and requires a substantial amount of input from teachers. Teachers are asked to:

  • Describe the central focus of student learning
  • Provide details about how they will monitor student learning
  • Use knowledge of students to inform teaching
  • Enlist language supports
  • Deepen students’ conceptual understanding
  • Address students with specific learning needs
  • Anticipate student misconceptions
  • Explain how plans build on each other
  • Include research and/or theory to support their justifications

Samples

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Task 2: Instruction Commentary

Teachers analyze their video and explain how they support and engage students in learning. Essential components of the rubric include creating a positive environment, using prior knowledge, analyzing teaching, deepening student learning, and using evidence from instruction to plan next steps.

Task 3: Assessing Student Learning

Teachers gather evidence of learning and use it to plan next steps, provide feedback, and determine patterns of learning.

Task 4: (Elementary Math Only)

This teacher analyzes student work samples to identify a targeted learning objective and uses this information to plan a re-teach lesson.

Attention, Certified Teachers!

Have you taken the edTPA recently and passed? Help aspiring teachers by allowing us to post your test as a sample! We'll show our appreciation with an Amazon gift card. Email liz@getselected.com for more information.

About Selected

Selected helps teachers find jobs at schools they love. We offer a free school matching and career support platform for teachers that connects them with 1,200+ PK-12 public and independent schools in urban metro areas in the Northeast and West Coast, including New York City, NJ, CT, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, and Los Angeles. Create a FREE profile and start speaking with hiring schools immediately!