On a daily basis, I am surrounded by composition books, a sea of pencils, a rainbow of crayons and a thousand requests to go to the bathroom.

 

The days start at 7:20 a.m. and end when tutorials or the latest faculty meeting decides to finally end.

 

Nope. I don’t work in a daycare. I’m jumping through all the flaming hoops to become a certified elementary teacher. Student teaching is the latest (and hardest) hurdle I’ve come up against, but I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.

 

I began my higher education career getting my bachelor’s degree in journalism. Then, the teacher bug bit me in the hiney, and I discovered Wesleyan nestled in Fort Worth—where I decided to go back to school and complete the post bachelor’s program for my early education teaching certification.

 

Before an aspiring teacher even gets to student teaching, he or she has to get through countless classes that each require multiple hours of field observation (which really means just sitting around in a public school and observing some good, and some not so good teachers).

 

The testing to get into the elementary field consists of two primary tests — the generalist and the PPR.

 

The generalist is pretty much the grand daddy of all tests—where anything you’ve learned since you were born can pretty much be on it. Remember those prime factorization trees you labored over in seventh grade? Yep, you need to know that.

 

This test seriously made me think differently about every time I told a teacher “I’ll never need to know this” while growing up. Boy have I been eating crow with that one.

 

The PPR is the test that assumes the world is perfect. We all teach in a perfectly designed classroom, with students that have perfect lives.

 

Well…at least that’s how all the situational questions are designed. And not only that, but this test always has more than one right answer…you just have to pick the best answer.

 

However, as hard as I believe getting into teaching is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something so amazing about seeing a fifth grader’s eyes light up because you’ve said the one thing that finally makes it “click.”