Wonderful news to wake up to!

When I woke up today, I did one of the things I do most days…I checked my email.  There I discovered a wonderful bit of news I have been waiting for since March 17th…I got an email telling me that my Praxis PLT scores were waiting for me.  I even shared it via Twitter and Facebook.  That’s how excited I was!

Why is this important?  Well, those of you that teach in states that require this test, you already know.  For the rest of you, it’s a test that gauges your application understanding of philosophical theorists that are considered the people all teachers should know about and how to apply their concepts in order to be effective teachers.

You may be still asking why it’s so important.  In Utah a new teacher must have had a mentor each year, organize and monitor a portfolio showcasing their lessons and student work, be considered Highly Qualified, have passed this crazy PLT test along with a new background check and have taken a 2 hr Suicide Prevention class all before the end of their year of teaching before they can upgrade their license to a Level 2.  If they fail to do this before the end of the third year, they can lose their job if they can’t qualify for an extension.  I have been diligently taking care of everything I could over the last almost three years except the PLT test and the background (couldn’t start that one until the spring of this year).

I took the PLT on March 17th and have been waiting for what seems like an enormous amount of time for the scores to post.  They were supposed to be posted yesterday in the EVENING of EASTERN TIME.  Wow, that was descriptive!  I was beginning to worry I had messed up the test or something. But this morning, I woke to the email posted at 12:02am my time (around 2am for them) which made me ALMOST chuckle for a minute. At least they came.

Most tests today are completely multiple choice and so the score pops up on the screen at the end of your session.  Unfortunately, the PLT contains FOUR constructive response questions.  Due to those FOUR different questions, I had to wait until someone reviewed the questions, which means almost an entire month of waiting.  UGH!

I have been rather blessed in that tests are usually not a problem for me.  ACT was fine.  When I took the Elementary Praxis was fine.  When I took the Music Praxis, I unfortunately, missed it by TWO POINTS! That is a lot harder.  I even looked up info about the test and found that nationwide this test usually takes most people two or even three times to pass although I did notice a number of people who couldn’t pass it even on their seventh or eighth try.  I really felt for them.  So I admit that after having been away from Westminster College for three years, I was a little worried.  I knew that the professors at Westminster had really prepared us with the knowledge we needed to pass any test, but knowing that the information was in your head and having it translate to a test under that kind of pressure was, needless to say, a little disconcerting.  So I did what I could to review the material and I just went for it.

Fast forward to today…I got my background clearance yesterday after having my fingerprints done this past Monday…oh, the irony, and I got my passing scores.  When I return to school Monday, I will get the last paperwork done so I can pay another fee to upgrade my license.  But that stress is over.  WOOT! WOOT!

Where will your road lead you?

Where will your road lead you? 

If you are like me, my road is always bumpy.  Sometimes it looks like it will be smooth sailing, that is until we go around that next bend and then it’s… LOOK OUT!  Sometimes the road is just irritatingly bumpy.  It might have pot holes that don’t seem like much but, in fact, are really annoying little boogers. Sometimes the road seems like you’re climbing a mountain that has no end.  The good thing…it eventually it can smooth out so you can enjoy the next little while OR it can lead towards a winding road that is so curvy you have to take it painstakingly SLOW, OR a huge drop in altitude that feels like you’re falling and don’t know when it’s going to stop OR even better still..a road like the one I remember behind my maternal grandparents property when I growing up where you’d go up one hill that wasn’t huge but it wasn’t even close to being small and when you got to the top just as you were ready to go back down, you’d get a glimpse of the view ahead and realized there were so many of these “little hills” over the next several miles, it was going an interesting ride.

No matter what type of road you are currently on, everyone takes a ride on at least one of the examples above one or more times in our lives.  Where is your road leading you right now?  Is it a ride that you need to get off?  How do you do that?  How do you know when you need that ride to change?  How do yo know when you can get off that road or whether the road will change for or in spite of you?  Are  you content with your ride?

If you are one of the ones that are currently content with your ride, congratulations!  Enjoy every minute of it.  If you are one of those that are not, I only have one question for you… What are you going to do about it?

Comment below.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Technology in the classroom/board room

Output or compliance?

“This is something that many people are struggling with in education and has nothing to do with age.  I have seen many younger educators bring pen and paper to a meeting while the veterans have access to technology. Whatever the case, we shouldn’t make assumptions about how other people learn because it looks different from us. Even if a person is doodling, that could be how some people process information.”

“I have been surprised how many leaders in education still ban devices from their staff during meetings or personal learning days, because they are worried what they might do or they are not paying attention.”

This is so true.  I have been many in meetings where the “RULE” is that NO ONE can be on technology of any kind simply because it’s viewed as wasteful or you aren’t paying attention to the speaker.  I am a major busy body that also happens to be a huge visual learner and therefore need to be doing something in order to even hear what people are TELLING me. Sometimes doodling works but more often than not, I can focus more if I am typing notes, or searching for something the speaker talked about or just staring at something on the screen.  If it’s that way with me, who knows how many of my students need something similar.  That’s why I allow my students to write down dates of concerts or even notes in whatever manner they need in order to remember it.

“Start from the learner, and move backward from there.”