As many preservice teachers are well aware -- student teaching is tough. It is an extremely trying time for preservice members to balance teaching practices, creating lessons and subsequent materials, getting to know the students, finding time to eat a full meal, maintaining some semblance of a social life, completing accompanying college coursework, and, most importantly, finding time to sleep that isn't when you're driving to or from your assigned practicum school. It is a balance that can seem almost impossible, but once preservice teachers get through this semester of student teaching, we feel like we can get through anything! However, things just got a bit more complicated thanks to the greedy hands of Pearson -- education's BFF.
As you can see from these slideshows in this post, there are so many reasons to be against edTPA, but let's just expand on a few now. Along with a college/university's normal student teaching workload, preservice teachers will be asked to do additional writings and assignments for edTPA, which means less time to plan lessons, have any sort of social life, eat, and sleep. There is also a video taping component. Preservice teachers are asked to use their cell phones to record a fifteen minute portion of his or her lesson. What if the school doesn't allow pictures or video taping? Well, edTPA suggests just going to a different school for one day to teach students you don't know and content that could have nothing to do with what you've currently been teaching. Are you wondering where that video goes and who owns it? If so, good question. We don't know the answer either and neither does Pearson. What we do know is that people scoring the assignments are strangers that don't know the preservice teacher or the students being taught. These strangers may not even be familiar with the content, grade level, or the demographic of the school. Adding to the numerous issues, this will cost students an extra three hundred dollars, and edTPA is not funded, which makes this fiscally discriminatory.
NJEA full-time members are backing us up on the absurdity of edTPA. In fact, NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan testified against edTPA. In her testimony, which can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/2dhKT52, she states, "Between department regulations and your actions as members of the State Board, you have now regulated that our preservice students have more financial debt, have to devote more time and energy to pass another standardized test by Pearson, have to continue to successfully meet the requirements for each college, including student teaching, and then have to wait up to three years to get a regular certification while dealing with a tripled emphasis and weight of students' standardized test scores on their cooperating teacher's evaluation."
Want to learn more specifics on edTPA and why you should stand against it with us in solidarity? Visit these sites to educate yourself and help us educate others and advocate against this:
- Chelsea Hahn, The College of New Jersey
What are your thoughts on edTPA? What are the reasons you want to #STOPedTPA?
Want to become part of NJSEA and take advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer like Jonathan did? Visit: http://njea.org/members/student-members to learn more and join!
As the academic year begins, NJSEA ambassadors are in full swing thinking of ways to improve local chapters and how to be more involved at the state level. See what ambassadors around the state are hoping to accomplish this year.
As a first year ambassador, I hope to learn as much as I can and use my developing leadership skills to make a difference in both my local chapter at Montclair State University and at the state level. I am excited to learn more about the education profession and grow professionally alongside peers that are just as passionate as I am. – Jonathan Feig, Montclair State University
My goal is to give Rowan’s chapter of NJSEA a greater presence on campus and the local community through community service and self-advocacy. Having a stronger presence in the campus and surrounding community will help our chapter and the overall NJSEA organization grow. – Deanna Kollar, Rowan University
As social media chair, my goal for this year is to engage members on a state level and connect with members from all over the state through our social media outlets. I also plan to aid in increasing membership in New Jersey by showing pre-service educators the importance of letting our voice be heard on a state and national level. – Mariah Belber, The College of New Jersey
My hope for this year is to increase member involvement at both the local and state level. There are so many opportunities for our members, and I hope to see the pre-service educators taking advantage of these opportunities by attending events and making our presence well known. As a leader in this organization, my goal is to make sure our pre-service members know all that is offered to them. From making them aware of benefits and opportunities they have access to, such as professional development offered to full-time members and political advocacy events, to being an approachable and knowledgeable leader, I plan to spread information about all our organization provides. – Courtney Earnest, Rider University
As President of the NJSEA chapter at Montclair State University, I plan to hold professional development events on campus that focus on topics regarding to individualized instruction, institutionalized racism, and integrating technology within the curriculum. Institutionalized racism is a topic that was recently brought up in the NEA-SP SLC, and it stuck with a lot of NJSEA members that attended the trip. It’s a topic that sometimes gets overlooked, and I hope to bring it to light on my campus. Within my role as Local Outreach Chair at the state level, I aspire to act as a source of support for the NJSEA members, especially the new faces in our organization, that are in the initial phases of aiding the establishment a chapter or collaborating with already founded chapters to increase their engagement. I hope to be an informative resource for current members and perspective members in these endeavors. – Lian Refol, Montclair State University
I am looking forward to seeing our membership grow at Montclair State University as we become more involved with our campus community. I plan on being as active as possible on my campus to help achieve this. I think the knowledge I gain from being Political Action Chair and having other chairs and ambassadors at the state level in our local organization will aid in Montclair becoming a stronger chapter. By doing this we can spread the word about getting out the vote and speak up about the #STOPedTPA campaign. Furthermore, NJSEA at MSU will be will be very active in volunteer service projects and giving back to the local communities. – Danielle Curry, Montclair State University
NJSEA has pushed for creating new and maintaining old chapters at colleges and universities across New Jersey. My goal is to aid in creating some of the new chapters across the state so more preservice educators can learn and grow through the opportunities NJSEA provides, such as the professional development that’s typically offered to full-time members. My local chapter is Montclair State University, and my goal for my chapter is to increase membership and host events that members across New Jersey can attend to create a feeling of unity and community. We have a very strong leadership group at Montclair, and I know through everyone’s participation we will be able to achieve other leader’s goals and my own. – Allison Plishka, Montclair State University
The NJSEA chapter at Seton Hall is relatively new, so one of my main goals I want to accomplish this year is increasing our membership and become a more well-known and prominent organization on campus. It is more than just a school club. It’s a nationally recognized organization that helps preservice educators grow and develop professionally in so many ways. I want to be able to say I am an ambassador and chapter member of NJSEA and have people automatically know that I am part of a group of dedicated pre-service educators. – Cassidy Burns, Seton Hall University
New Jersey Preservice Education Association (NJSEA)
As the preservice branch of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), we aspire to empower, excite, and inspire all future educators about their upcoming teaching careers in public education.
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