I PASSED THE PRAXIS II!!!! I PASSED IT ON THE FIRST TRY! And I rocked it--a 192 out of 200 (passing is 172). Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
I'm so glad I jumped in with both feet and took the test in November rather than wait for the next round in March. The relief I feel is immense. My run was lighter and faster last night. Then I fell asleep early and slept late this morning. It's a brand-new day all over again. NowI just need to finish up this teaching certification program in May and, hopefully, find some gainful employment educating young minds.
Cue the Welcome Back, Kotter theme--again.
This weekend is our last blast of classes before a two-week holiday hiatus. There is a midterm feel to this Saturday, when our English cohort has to present 12-minute microlessons, complete with lesson plans and graphic organizers. What's more, we are going to be videotaped. GAH! Then we get to copy our videotaped session onto our flash drives, and go home and have our families make fun of us for how many times we say "uh".
Today, I'm still a workerbee for Corporate America, however. To that end, I will dutifully attend my 9:30 biweekly check-in with my boss. Then, relishing my current job's flexibility (since I won't have that when I'm teaching--hey, it's a trade-off), I will skip out for a couple of hours to chaperone my older son's field trip with his TAG group. TAG. Talented and Gifted. I love my boys. I am so proud of my oldest for being recommended for TAG and then swiftly and easily testing into the program. But I would love it even more if he was gifted enough to remember his backpack when leaving for school in the morning, or if he was talented enough to notice when his shirt is on backwards--which happens about 50% of the time. For real.
Later this week, I'll be practicing my microlesson with a willing victim/coworker acting as my "student". I'm hoping not to overshoot the 12 minutes by too much time. Worse, though, would be to finish the lesson too quickly. And timers are a no-no. We've been cautioned that they're a psych-out. They will cause us to focus on the time rather than our teaching. So I'll need to set my phone timer and leave it where I can't see it. When time's up, it's up. And hopefully I'm in the middle of the lesson's closure when that happens.
I am so grateful that I've come this far. A year ago, I had only the hope of being where I am right now. And next year, I hope that I will be teaching and able to look back and say, again, "A year ago, I had only the hope of being where I am right now." But before I can get there, I have to successfully complete my student teaching this March and April. Unfortunately, I'll have to put in several "regular job" hours while student teaching, which will be a huge challenge. I forsee many nights being up late correcting papers, tweaking lesson plans, all the while checking my work email and handling tasks for Corporate America. I'm confident I can handle it, though. I've handled a lot more than that so far in this beautiful, wacky life, and I've always been okay. Knock on wood.
Special props to the friends and family who have cheered me on thus far (you know who you are!). It means more than you could ever know.