Letter: New teacher video is about revenue

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Mazzalonga asks students questions inside

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Mazzalonga asks students questions inside her classroom at Washington Elementary School in Huntington, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (Credit: Steve Pfost)

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I agree with the letter writer who criticized the new requirement that teacher candidates present a 15-minute video of a lesson ["New teacher videos prove nothing," April 6].

Anyone who has experience teaching knows that assessing teaching skills in 15 minutes is ridiculous. There is really no way to limit a healthy, student-oriented lesson to such a short amount of time. The objectives of good lessons include student motivation, reaction and response. Sometimes the discussion cannot even be contained in a 40-minute lesson; there has to be a carry-over to the next class.

I believe money is the true reason for the new requirement. It will cost each candidate $300 to file the paperwork and the video for approval. Imagine how the coffers will improve when teaching candidates must pay the initial fees, and possibly pay again when an evaluating group rejects the first submission. As usual, money speaks!

Lorraine Mund, Hicksville

Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor in the English department at Nassau Community College.
 

The Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) has been added to three other standardized tests that college students must take to become certified teachers. Student teachers should be held to high standards, but this test, for which students must pay $300, is merely complicated.

It involves teachers making videos of themselves teaching children in a classroom. Almost as soon as they walk into their student-teaching classrooms, they must begin soliciting permission from children's parents for the videotaping.

The edTPA is an insufficiently tested, unnecessarily complex assortment of tasks. Although it may eventually serve as a useful training instrument, it should not be imposed as a barrier. Its requirements are forcing bright, enthusiastic teachers to spend their time chasing down permission forms, formatting documents in a particular way, and conducting sound checks.

The edTPA forces them to become movie producers before they get a chance to learn their students' names.

Patricia Dunn, Shoreham

Editor's note: The writer is an associate professor in the English teacher education program at Stony Brook University.

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