Studying for the CSET is a “Learning Experience”

When the study guide is misspelled maybe it's not so good, huh?

When the study guide is misspelled maybe it’s not so good, huh?

Although I am trying to blog more often, I was trying to be good last week and limit my internet time so that I could study for a teacher test. Here in California one must pass the CSET subject test if one wishes to teach a specific subject for upper grade levels, which is something I am considering when I go back to teaching next year. Although I have taught 6th grade in the past, I only have a multiple subject credential which allows me to teach ANY subject to ANY student up to 6th grade. I have never taught in an all-day elementary classroom, but rather a core class where I see middle school students for two periods and two subjects. Last year was a big challenge being at a new school and teaching two brand new subjects. Although technically I am qualified to teach those subjects, I struggled to create lesson plans in Math and Science in addition to actually teaching and grading those subjects. As the saying goes “I learned a lot from that experience.” Although isn’t it funny how we never say that when something really awesome happens? You know, “I was just walking down the street when George Clooney invited me to dinner and then took me on a weekend get-away to his Italian chateau. I learned a lot from that experience.”

A great "learning experience" for Ms. Pohler. Take that Will Arnett!

A great “learning experience” for Ms. Pohler. Take that Will Arnett!

Oh wait, bad example, I WOULD learn a lot from that experience. But I digress…

So I am taking the CSET for History in hopes that someday I will be allowed by the state of California not only to teach all the subjects from K – 6, but also teach Social Studies for middle and high school students. There are three parts; Ancient and World History, U.S. History, and the third part of Civics, Economics and California History. Of course I nailed Part I the first time because I’ve taught that subject for the last 11 years, but I also passed Part III the first time, which was a surprise. This last Saturday was the third (lowers eyes like a dejected student) time I took the US History portion. I didn’t really study the first two times (again hides face in embarrassment) so I got this fabulous idea to maybe study this time, although I used a study guide from the library that was rather questionable. I won’t know the results for a few weeks but I will say this test was the same EXACT test that I took the first time. So if I don’t pass again well…(shameful sad puppy dog look of BGM) Well what? I am just going to take it again until I DO pass, that’s what.

On eof hte more interesting images I got when googling "dejected student".

One of the more interesting images I got when googling “dejected student”.

You see, in education a funny thing happened when we started implementing all these tests on students to see if they are learning. Testing companies “We” designed tests so that not everyone is successful. Tests have some easy questions, some harder questions, and some questions designed to be very hard or complicated. “We” want to make the hoops and hurdles of going on to the next level hard. “We” want to test if students “get it” by bubbling in a scantorn, which most teachers know is one way, though not always the best way, to evaluate students’ knowledge of a subject. So I knew when I took this teacher test, it was designed the same way; if you don’t know the subject material really well and if you don’t know how to answer questions that are designed to confuse you, you might not pass. It’s deception to make sure you can analyze the question correctly but really I get weary when I think back to the CST some of the tests I had to give my students that trick them into answering wrong when I know they “get it”. I know I can teach U.S. History but if I didn’t pass the test then so what? I’ll just try again.

I didn’t think I was going to write about education in this post but there you go, it’s still a part of me even on my year of being a SAHM. I’m trying to find a way out of this life of education, but I guess I still miss it.

In some great, fantastic news, my friend, who was the laid off teacher that I was meeting for coffee once a week, got rehired.  Yeah! I am so not jealous happy for her, but will miss our coffee talks. I truly am not jealous because I know I’m not quite ready to go back. I try not to get worried about my return to teaching this upcoming August. What’s the point, right? I am fortunate that I can have this time off to pause, think, reflect, and come back with a better perspective. Any advice for the BGM? What can I do to make my transition back to school easier in August?

Also, I have discovered #Projectlife365 on Instagram and have been posting pictures on my real life account. I am trying to post some pictures for the BGM blog too. This dual Instagram and secret identity blog is getting harder and harder to keep up. I am tempted to just go ahead and let my RL friends know about this little blog of mine, but I’m still not quite sure. Should I let everyone know the real me? WWWWD?

This is a REAL book. Holy cow!

This is a REAL book. Holy Hera!

Follow me on Instagram and see if I can keep up with the Projectlife365!

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