An East Carolina University graduate shared her experiences as a first-year, middle school math teacher at a national education conference Feb. 27-March 2.
Lauren Williams Harvey ‘12 served as a panelist at the annual American Association of Teacher Education Conference (AACTE), held this year in Orlando, Fla. She spoke on how an innovative program at ECU’s College of Education prepared her for teaching.
The College is in its third year of implementing edTPA, an assessment tool that measures the teaching behaviors and effectiveness of education students. edTPA was developed by Stanford University in partnership with AACTE.
“Being a first-year teacher can be stressful, but the preparation I received…allowed me to feel confident in my classroom,” said Harvey, who teaches sixth-grade math at E.B. Aycock Middle School in Greenville. “With this confidence, I feel that I am able to meet the individual needs of all of my students on a daily basis.”
ECU administrators recommended Harvey to serve as a panelist for the session, titled “edTPA Into Practice: Novice Teachers Speak Out,” because of the university’s extensive adoption of edTPA and the deep engagement of the faculty with Stanford University and its Center for Assessment, Learning, & Equity, according to Susan Petroff, vice president of AACTE.
“The opportunity to speak at the AACTE conference on edTPA gave me a chance to both share my experiences through the process as well as advocate for the College of Education,” said Harvey, who one of only three new graduates to appear on the conference agenda.
During the panel session, Harvey reflected on how the middle grades education program at ECU prepared her to execute the edTPA process and, more importantly, to be a successful new teacher.
“Each day, I reflected on my lessons and how well my students were performing, but the edTPA allowed me to focus on specific needs and common errors that may occur during a lesson.”
In her remarks, Harvey said that edTPA was a rich, challenging opportunity that allowed her to demonstrate her pedagogical knowledge and skills. From making sure that she was planning instruction that reached all students, to assessing student work to identify gaps in instruction or misconceptions existing among her students, participating in edTPA at ECU made Harvey a confident, prepared first-year teacher.
“This truly was a memorable occasion,” said Dr. Linda Patriarca, dean of the College of Education. “Listening to her articulate so clearly and cogently how she plans, instructs and assesses the students in her class and how she uses the data to inform her planning and subsequent day’s instruction was awe inspiring.”