Thursday, March 10, 2011

Your Mom Went to College...

At the risk of disclosing my real age, I'll begin by saying that I graduated from college sometime during the 20th century.

When I went back to teaching three years ago, I had a lot of catching up to do. In the ten years since I had become a stay-home mom, policies had come and gone, they were speaking a whole new language that I had never been a part of, and kindergarten somehow became less about getting along and more about reading actual books.

There were certain requirements I had to meet in order to get my teaching certificate updated. Among other things, I had to take a two-part test known as the Praxis. I was given a year to take the first part and three years to take the second part. I took the first part at the end of my first year. It was more like a big trivia quiz than a test. I'm really good at trivia. My mind is a steel trap for all kinds of useless information. For instance, did you know that babies don't have knee caps until they're three years old? Needless to say, I nailed it. I even got a special certificate in the mail because I scored so exceptionally high on it, along with a letter stating that I am truly dedicated to my profession for being so knowledgeable in so many areas. Whatever. Useless information.

In two days I will be taking the second part of the Praxis. I've been studying. And I'm worried. This is the stuff that I learned in college. You know, back in the late 20th century. I have to know the names of behaviorists and their theories and tell how I would apply their expertise in my classroom. I need to remember the difference between Piaget and Maslow. Does anyone out there even understand Constructivist Theory?

What I'm saying is, I know how to apply it, I just can't remember what it's called.

I learned more about teaching from motherhood than I ever did in college. Teaching is about common sense. If a kid does something right, praise them. If a kid does something wrong, let them know and praise them for trying harder. Be enthusiastic. If you love to learn, so will they. Be consistent and follow through with consequences. I before E except after C. AND BAND-AIDS FIX EVERYTHING.

It's just too bad there won't be anything on the test about band-aids.

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