One Less Hoop to Jump Through

hula-hoop-class-in-smaltimoreI passed the GACE or more specifically, the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators test. To be certified in early childhood education as I desire to be, one must take two tests. Test one covers subareas reading and english language arts while test two covers mathematics, science, health, physical education, and the arts. The format is multiple choice primarily. Each section with the exception of health, physical education, and the arts includes a “constructed response” section which is basically a written narrative response to a question.

This test would usually be taken towards the end of the education program because the information covered on the test comes from the classes taken in the program. Since I initially attempted to take an alternative route to teacher certification, I signed up to take this test. I reached out to teachers at the school where I was subbing asking them for any information they could provide on test preparation. I expected the younger teachers to offer some help as they were probably closer to the process I was going through. Unfortunately those who responded were few and far between. Were they just too busy? Who knows? One teacher did offer to talk with a family member who had recently taken the test. Another teacher suggested I look at a software program called BrainPop as it included much of the material covered on the test. I searched the internet extensively and found some helpful websites and a title of a study booklet specifically written for the two content tests.

With the economy still hiccuping along and the accompanying tightening of state budgets, I decided to enroll in an education program.  The alternative program for my county required that I pass the GACE and then acquire a job. These were the prerequisites to entering into their non-degree fast track teacher certification program. I thought it best not to try competing with certified teachers in a market with a scarcity of teaching jobs.  This decision is just as well now that I have completed my first semester. I could not imagine being in the classroom before learning all that I need to know to be an effective teacher.  I couldn’t subject my students to guinea pig status. No OJT (on the job training here). Also, as in any field acquring a job depends a lot on who you know. As someone just entering this field and just after a couple of months subbing, I dodn’t have a network to reach out to for help getting a job. Instead of throwing away the $165 I put down on the test, I decided to take the test. I spent more money on a couple of subject area text books. Actually I wasted money because  on my first night of class one of my classmates offered to let me borrow her GACE study book!

I am happy that the test is done and passed. I have completed my first two classes and I think I aced them. I shold find out my grades soon. Well one less hoop!


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