Improving Your Craft

Being a beginning teacher can be challenging, so working with mentors to develop your instructional skills is a critical part of your first two years of teaching. 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 you and your mentor. In addition to making you an active participant in your learning, the artifacts will provide a body of evidence of your practice in meeting the Iowa Teaching Standards.

The first 100 teachers to submit a completed portfolio will receive a small stipend for their participation.

What You Are Expected to Do

Task 1:

Submit one unit

of instruction

with 2 formative


  • Context of Classroom
  • Unit Plan Outline
  • Commentary

Task 2:

Analyze student

work from


  • Three (3) Student Work Samples
  • Commentary

Task 3:

Develop & implement

an instructional


  • Video record differentiated lesson
  • Commentary
  • Video record goal setting conference
  • Commentary

Task 4:

Analyze learning

progress for

target students

  • Assessment Commentary
  • Learning Commentary
  • Three (3) Student Work Samples

Teachers should not have to create new work products for this assessment (excluding the commentaries), but rather leveraging existing artifacts from the instructional processes teachers follow today. All artifacts are submitted as a single portfolio of work.

What’s In It for You

  • Enrich the discussion between you and your mentor
  • Receive targeted feedback on your teaching to improve your practice
  • Compile evidence from artifacts that can be used to support your standard license

Sign-Up to Participate

To participate in the field trial, you will first need to sign up by clicking on the Sign Up to Participate button. Once you have signed up, you will receive an email with information on how to access the Resources page to get the IA-TPA handbook, once the updated version is available. The handbook will contain the details of what you will be asked to do and submit. It is important to read the handbook carefully to understand what is being asked of you. The Resources page will also contain a video tutorial on how to log into the system to upload and submit your portfolio of work.

Access to Resources

This page is password protected and available to beginning teachers who have signed up for the IA-TPA. If you are participating, but do not have a password, please contact