Saturday, June 12, 2010

The hardest to learn is the least complicated

I successfully completed the ATS this morning. I was feeling a bit crappy but made it through. I am still trying hard to understand the meaning of these certification tests. Some of the questions are just bizarre. I know that there has to be some sort of centralized testing for teacher knowledge and basic understanding, I am just not sure what. The two tests I have taken so far really don't do anything to prove that I am worthy of teaching adolescents. I personally think extensive on the job training would be more helpful. I worry about the young people - 20 somethings- who have grown accustomed to not having to interact socially. Think about it: how are they going to communicate effectively with students? I see so much texting that I often wonder if people even talk any more. Colleges should offer a social interaction course for teachers. You know, how to talk to students, parents, administrators etc. Nobody teaches you that. Just a thought. My next certification exam is July 17. This one will be on content. I hope it has something of substance or at leats makes me think.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Moving right along...

Tomorrow I will be taking the second of three exams I need for my teaching certification in New York. It is the secondary ATS-Assessment of Teaching Skills. Thankfully it is a morning appointment. I am a morning person and hate sitting around waiting. Honestly, I am just looking forward to finishing already. I know these tests are important but they are stressful. Not the content, just the whole "formalized test" thing" sitting in a big auditorium, the clock ticking, proctors watching. I always seem to finish early and the content isn't too difficult. It's just the atmosphere. It brings back horrible memories of high school regents exams. I promis as a teacher I will do everything in my power to help students to not be afraid of that type of testing process. I know all the steps: get plenty of sleep, eat breakfast, get to the exam site early, etc. It's still not a pleasant experience.

My 17 year old cousin is graduating high school next week. Today was her last official day of school. She just called me to tell me how sad she was and how she cried as she said goodbye to her favorite teachers. I can honestly say I had not thought about that as I work towards becoming an educator. How would I handle saying goodbye to my students as they graduate? I am a big mush and would hate to have them see me cry but I think it's almost a given. I saw many of her teachers tear up during an award ceremony last week honoring seniors with their end of year awards and scholarships. Educators have so much responsibility. To actually complete your instruction and help a student graduate must be the biggest thrill. It's bittersweet, but it must also give a teacher such a sense of accomplishment knowing they did something that truly mattered.