Supporting Candidates

How can the university supervisor support candidates?

It is recommended that the university supervisor NOT observe the teacher candidate during the week in which they are completing their edTPA instruction. The type of feedback and support that can be given to the teacher candidate regarding their work for the edTPA is very specific (Guidelines for Supporting Candidates) and is inconsistent with the type of feedback that is encouraged and expected by university supervisors.

As a summative assessment, the edTPA should represent a teacher candidate's own, authentic work. As such, university supervisors should not provide feedback on artifacts (e.g., lesson plans, instructional materials, video clips, or student work samples) to teacher candidates. Lesson plans prior to the completion of the edTPA can be evaluated and feedback can be provided to teacher candidates and used as formative experience, shaping their work on the edTPA, but feedback on the artifacts that will be submitted as part of the edTPA is not permitted.

During observations of teacher candidates, it is important to continue to providing the formative and constructive feedback that is expected of a university supervisor. University supervisors play a key role in determining a candidate's readiness to teach and as such should be discussing areas of strength and points of concern they have for their teacher candidates.

What does the University Supervisor need to communicate to the cooperating teacher?

  • What the edTPA is and why candidates need to complete it - this important conversation should occur during the initial triad meeting (early in semester/quarter).
  • That the edTPA will require candidates to plan, instruct, and assess students on their own.
  • Candidates needs to begin planning for the edTPA early - choosing the week for the segment and lessons. This will mean that candidates will need to gather evidence for student performance before planning the segment lessons
  • Candidates' knowledge and understanding of students' learning needs should be prompted and facilitated in a timely manner.

Cooperating teachers should be provided a copy of Frequently Asked Questions about Student Teaching and the edTPA for Cooperating Teachers.  University Supervisors should review this information with them and respond to questions that arise.

How can the cooperating teacher support candidates?

In the weeks leading up to the edTPA, the cooperating teacher can help the candidate get to know the students, build confidence as a teacher, and choose a class, topic, and focus students for the edTPA learning segment.  During the learning segment (3-5 class days), the cooperating teacher should give the candidate full responsibility for planning, teaching, and assessing the class.  In the week or two after the learning segment, the cooperating teacher should be aware that the candidate will need time to select videoclips, write commentaries, and submit the edTPA for scoring, in addition to student teaching duties.  The timeline for candidate submission of the edTPA for scoring will be guided by the educator preparation program and must be adhered to in order to assure completion of all certification requirements.

How can the educator preparation program support candidates?

Educator preparation programs should select the appropriate edTPA handbook from the DPI-approved list to match the candidate's certification area and student teaching placement.  At the start of the semester, the program should provide the candidate with the edTPA handbook and the "Making Good Choices" guide available on the Pearson edTPA site (  Programs can help candidates succeed by: teaching and using edTPA terminology; practicing tasks with formative feedback in courses leading up to student teaching; providing student teachers with handbooks and a timeline for completing the edTPA; helping candidates become familiar with the edTPA requirements and rubrics; discussing edTPA tasks and samples in a student teaching seminar; encouraging peer feedback on clarity and completeness of responses; and providing logistical and technical support for videorecording and uploading.  Programs may not tell candidates which videos to use or what to write, and under no circumstances may faculty edit or upload candidates' materials.  Examples of appropriate and inappropriate support are spelled out in the document "Guidelines for Supporting Candidates Completing edTPA" available on the Pearson edTPA site (

How can the educator preparation program manage the video requirements of the edTPA?

Programs should work with school districts to establish standard procedures for securing permissions at the start of the school year.  Under no circumstances may videos be shared or posted online.  Candidates should sign a memo of understanding regarding appropriate use of video and the possible consequences for misuse, which include potential loss of the teaching license.  Programs should check the Pearson edTPA site ( and the AACTE edTPA site ( for tips and sample release forms.

What resources are available to me as a supervisor?

Many resources are available to stakeholders (e.g., teacher candidates, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers). Below are a number of accessible resources that provide different types of information.  Your edTPA coordinator may have additional resources available to you and your stakeholders.

The Pearson edTPA site ( is the official source of information for candidates and faculty.  The AACTE edTPA site ( provides additional resources and an online community for edTPA Coordinators. 

To learn more about the edTPA, SCALE has developed the Getting Ready for edTPA video series and several resources on Academic Language. These resources are ideal for teacher candidates, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers. This video series can be accessed at the AACTE edTPA site (

FAQs resource sheets, similar to this document, are available for teacher candidates and the cooperating teachers. Contact your campus edTPA coordinator for access to these and other documents.

AACTE edTPA webpage
Chalk & Wire Learning Assessment image
DPI edTPA webpage
Link to Pearson edTPA webpage
Contact Dr. Stacy Furness