22 June 2008

Two for Two

I spent a chunk of yesterday afternoon taking my other elementary certification test---the backdoor test. Assuming that I passed this one (and I think I did well enough for that, although I certainly won't be garnering any accolades for high scoring), then the rest of the dominos can fall and I will be a genuine elementary teacher. Truth be told, this is little more than to be a line on my resume; however, I am of a mind that whatever one can do to get Opportunity knocking is a good thing.

There were several interesting things about yesterday's version: the Texas version vs. the Washington one from a week ago. Both are developed by ETS, so the script the test proctors used was identical, as were the printed directions, and answer sheets. There was even a math question that was the same for both tests. Plenty of opportunities for deja vu. Yesterday's test was more in depth, requiring pedagogical knowledge in addition to content knowledge. I'm still not convinced that a test can really allow anyone to determine whether or not someone can teach. Take me, for example. Just because I know a bit about phonemes and decodable books does not mean I'm ready for someone to toss me in with a group of kindergartners to teach them to read.

I'm wondering if teacher certification shouldn't be a bit more like those graduated drivers' licenses some states are using with teenagers now. The number and age of people you can have in your car changes with the more actual road practice you have. Perhaps teachers need some type of "learner's permit" and would gradually work up to a full-fledged cert on down the road. Along the way, there would be opportunities for mentorship and co-teaching.

At the moment, I'm just relieved that the tests are done, that I feel like I'm "two for two" on doing well (enough), and summer is on the horizon.

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