Back to the Books, Second Time Around

Praxis. A dreaded word for anyone who is looking to get licensed as a teacher in the state of CT. Doesn’t matter that you have been a teacher for over 10 years and have premanent licensing in another state( having taken their state test many moons ago). At any age if you want to be a certified teacher, you have to take the tests.

So here I am at the tender age of 43 cracking the books. Although I am an elementary (level) school teacher, suddenly I am being told that I need to be fluent in areas that have nothing to do with elementary school children. The math section alone made me break out into a sweat.  I’ve taught in the CT Public schools, my children have gone through to middle school, so I know the syllabus through 5th grade.  If it is not a required part of the curriculum, then why am I being tested on it????

So it’s back to learning word problems, geometry, algebra. All the information that is elementary school level, I whiz through. Then suddenly I am confronted by areas I haven’t had to acknowledge since High School. There is a reason why I didn’t become a middle school or high school teacher.  This does not mean that I am unintelligent. It just means that I have come to realize there are certain subjects I will never do well in. My brain doesn’t work that way.

Especially now in the age of forgetfullness, I am trying to relearn information that gave me pause 0ver 2o years ago. Take it slow I remind myself. Check off what you do know and don’t need to relearn and it will all seem less overwhelming. As we age we become wiser, we have more life experience and are more confident. However, in my 43 years I have never had to use an algebraic equation to balance a checkbook or teach a first grade class. Geometry has not had an impact on my daily routine or ability to function as a productive member of our society.

Sit me down.  Talk to me about my teaching philosophy. Ask me to demonstrate an effective and motivational lesson. Judge me on my ability to teach, not on material that was long forgotten and will never need to be taught at the level I am looking to be certified in.

Weeding out. That’s what they are doing. So every night it’s back to the books. Study a little, review a lot. In a month’s time we’ll have our answer.  Second time around. Am older, wiser, more confident, but intimidated by a little test. One which will determine my future as an educator. Maybe it’s time for a tutor!

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