I have been bestowed, with great honor, to teach math to my second graders. In the morning, I am responsible for putting up the math message and going over the problems. In the afternoon, I teach the math lessons with the guidance of the Everyday Math Curriculum. During AIS, I have been taking over the instructions for students who need intervention in math. Although I wish to teach other subject areas, I am content with planning lessons in math. The math lessons provided by Everyday Math is complicated, disorganized, and confusing. It jumps all over the place and expects students to pick up complex material with ease, and their reinforcement is a joke. I am trying my best to modify the lessons to accommodate for my students' needs. Along with modified instructions, I want my students to see math as something they can also have fun with. To spice things up, whenever I find an opportunity to conduct a fun activity with the class, I do it. My activities are tied into previous lessons we had. They act as reinforcers that strengthen student knowledge of a certain topic, or help clear up misunderstandings others may have. I hope I can do the same with other areas, but for now, I'll settle with being the mathematician.
P.S. 193 Alfred J. Kennedy My second and current placement for the Spring 2009 semester is P.S. 193 in Whitestone. It is a very different community compared to P.S. 120. Although it is very different to come into a classroom during the middle of the year, my cooperating teacher helped me adjust very well. My new students also helped the adjustment process. I look forward to working with my new class, and so far it looks to be very promising.
P.S. 120 In my Fall 2008 semester at Queens College, I began my long anticipated student teaching experience. I was placed at P.S. 120 in Flushing. P.S. 120 was not far from my house. I walked to school everyday. The factor that made my time spent at P.S. 120 pleasant was a combination of a great cooperating teaching, a wonderful class, and welcoming faculty and staff members. I was placed in an advance ELL 4th grade classroom. The experienced allowed me to take a step into the world of educating. I learned to plan lessons that would serve the needs of all students. I still visit my class and always receive a warm greeting when I do.
Content Specialty Test (Multi-Subject 002) It has been a while since I last had an entry. A lot has been going on. For starters, I passed my ATS-W, guess I really had nothing to worry about. I recently took the CST, the last certification exam, and it feels great to get it all over with. Again, the worst has yet to come, since I still have to wait a dreadful month to obtain my results. Overall, the test wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. It seemed like a more extensive version of the LAST. The essay on the CST focuses on literacy in the classroom. To be honest, if I didn’t have student teaching this semester, I would not be able to answer the essay question to the best of my ability. Therefore, I would recommend anyone taking these exams to take the CST last. Get at least one semester of student teaching in before hand. On the same week, I completed the last seminar I needed. It wasn’t as bad as the others since it was only two hours, as opposed to three. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. My journey of becoming a certified teacher is almost complete. Being a teacher will be a whole new chapter. Then again, I am jumping the gun, since I haven’t received my CST results and I still need to obtain my masters.
UPDATE: Although it was the lowest score compared to the other two tests, I passed.
ATS-W The ATS-W is the assessment of teaching skills. It’s more like assessment of the ideal/perfect teacher that no one can become and will only become insane trying to become it. Seriously. The answers to the questions are subjective and impractical. Some questions are common sense while others will drive you nuts because more than one choice seems plausible. Again, the essay wasn’t too difficult and I would recommend taking a look at the topic first. The multiple-choice questions would definitely guide your essay. I don’t think there is any way you can prepare for this exam besides doing the practice exams. I would also review some of the child development theories of Piaget, because, although they do not ask for any specific information, they expect you to be able to apply them in the education setting. I have no clue how well I did and I will be suffering one month waiting for the results. Good luck to anyone taking any of the exams.
UPDATE: After a long month, the wait is over, I passed. =)
LAST Over the summer I took the LAST exam and passed. It wasn’t too hard but it can be very draining. The questions have nothing to do with teaching. It is a test of general knowledge from all different subjects. There are many multiple-choice questions and one essay. I think the essay was the only question that was related to education. The rest of the test had items that covered all sorts of area ranging from art to math to science etc. The part I found most tedious and mentally draining was the reading passages. The last few questions consisted of long readings only to have you answer two questions. I spent the whole four hours completing the exam. My suggestions to anyone planning on taking the exam is to get a practice test from the library and refresh your mind of the basic math, English, science, and even art material. Also, before answering the multiple-choice questions, read the essay question so you can develop an idea of what you will be writing. Sometimes questions on the test can help guide your essay.
Certification is NOT Cheap The purpose of today’s entry is to inform future teachers that getting certified is not cheap. Before you can begin student teaching, all students must get fingerprinted. It is required for everyone working in schools; therefore student teachers cannot escape it. The price of getting printed can run you up to 115$. The two blokes who did the printing didn’t make the experience pleasant either. The next expense on the list is the four seminars education students must attend before getting certified. Each three hour long cost 35$, running you up to 140$ in total. Although the seminars can be informative, three hours is a really long time. 35$ per seminar and refreshments aren’t even provided, so in the end you end up paying for a piece of paper stating you’re certified in an area you’ve probably spent 3 three hours daydreaming. There are three certification examinations everyone must take. They are Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATSW), and the Content Specialty Test (CST). Each tests cost 88$, totaling up to 264$. The general message this entry is trying to say is to start saving because certification is not cheap, unless you have 519$ at your disposal.
Currently in my eighth year of teaching Pre-K at an early childhood elementary school.