Blue Suede Shoes

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 31 2009

The First Visit…

I’m not ready to use words like “beautiful” or “amazing” to describe Memphis – yet, but I was really pleased with my short trip there over winter break. It seems like a very vibrant place to live, and I’m sure it’s even nicer when the weather is actually non-wintery. I hope I get interviews/a placement relatively soon so I can start looking for a place to live, but I get that it can take a while. Unless there’s a Memphis hiring freeze, I don’t think I’ll have any right to complain after what some NYC CMs went through this summer.

The Praxis I went very smoothly (aka I passed at least the math and verbal sections), so that’s one fewer barrier to being a legit teacher. It was similar in style to the SAT I/SAT II: Writing/GRE; I’d say the difficulty was between that of the SAT and the GRE. The testing center was pretty busy on Christmas Eve morning when I went. I don’t know if I felt worse for myself and my fellow test-takers or for the staff there who had to be there even earlier than we did and didn’t have the luxury of leaving after a couple hours.

Next on the agenda are the Praxis II: Middle School and Math Content Knowledge exams. The middle school test doesn’t look too bad, though I would have liked for ETS to have more practice questions available online. People I’ve talked to about it have basically said, If you went to middle school, you’ll be fine. Math looks to be much more of a challenge, but I think I’ll be okay. Thank goodness for test prep books. The Memphis team sent me a Cliffs Notes one to use, which was super nice and unexpected. I’m definitely going to get some mileage out of it in the next week.

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