Developing Beginning Teachers

“Beginning” doesn’t mean starting over, but moving to the next level. Iowa is developing a new instrument for looking at teacher practice that makes the beginning teacher an active player in his or her own learning.

Staying Informed


Looking for Raters to Support the IA-TPA Pilot

We are looking for mentors, teacher leaders, administrators, and faculty to rate the Iowa Teacher Performance Assessment in 2015-16

Be Among the First 100 New Teachers to Participate in the IA-TPA Pilot

We are looking for teachers in their first two years of teaching to pilot the Iowa Teacher Performance Assessment in 2015-16

Introducing the Iowa TPA Implementation Team

We are excited to announce that Dave Versteeg and Debra Johnsen have joined the IA-TPA team as Project Leads.

Important Dates

  • 02/01/2016 >
    Pilot Begins
  • 03/31/2016 >
    Deadline to Participate
  • 06/29/2016 >
    Portfolio of Work is Due
    In June
  • 08/31/2016 >
    Rating of Work Ends

What is the Iowa TPA

During the induction phase, beginning teachers are required to work with mentors to develop their instructional skills. To support this effort, the state developed the IA-TPA to provide a structured process for using artifacts of practice to enrich the dialogue between the teacher and mentor. In addition to making the teacher an active participant in their learning, the artifacts constitute a body of evidence of the teacher's practice in meeting the Iowa Teaching Standards.

The goals for this project are:

  • Develop effective teaching practices by measuring current practice against a set of standards.
  • Put beginning teachers at the center of their learning through collaborative dialogue and self-reflection.
  • Ensure that all students have well-trained and highly effective teachers.

Engaging in Active Reflection

The IA-TPA gives teachers the opportunity to reflect on their instruction by uploading samples of a unit of instruction, assessing students as they learn throughout the unit, and using that information to set goals and develop interventions to address student needs.

  • Planning a Unit of Instruction

  • Analyzing Student Learning

  • Developing an Intervention Lesson

  • Analyzing Leaning Progress

The samples are collected and submitted as a single portfolio of work. And the work products should be examples of the instructional process you are already following.

It’s About the Feedback…

The primary purpose of the IA-TPA is to facilitate a reflective dialogue between beginning teacher and their mentors. The assessment will be blind scored and the data will be shared with the teacher and mentor only. No identifiable data will be shared with district administrators or the state.

What It IS

  • Formative tool to support beginning teachers
  • Way to gather a body of evidence about teaching
  • Way to provide feedback on actual teacher work samples
  • Method for identifying professional development needs

What It Is NOT

  • Process for evaluating new teachers
  • Assessment for standard license
  • Replacement for induction programs

Implementation Timeline

Given that the IA-TPA is new, the state will be conducting research to ensure that the assessment is reliable and addresses the needs for beginning teachers. There are three primary phases to this project:
  • Pilot:

    February '16 through September '16'

    Gather work samples and initial feedback to refine the assessment for the field trial.

  • Field Trial 1:

    October '16 through September '17'

    Validate the new tool and establish training processes for use within districts

  • Field Trial 2:

    October '17 through September '18'

    Train mentors on guidelines for using the assessment with beginning teachers