How do I explain why I'm still not certified after 8 years?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by EducateElise, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    I took the ELA/Reading 4-8 exam in 2007 and got hired at a school but then the offer was rescinded due to low enrollment. Now mind you the recession of 2008 hit so I had trouble finding work until 2009. I returned once again to the school mentioned and was hired for a 6th grade ELA position. But the principal changed her mind and moved me to 3rd grade. Since this was a charter school I could teach that grade level without certification. She said she wanted me to gain teaching experience before moving me into a middle school area.

    I think to myself "No problem. I'll just take the EC-6 generalist." But I failed it. TWICE. Next thing I know four years have gone by and I'm still at the charter school teaching 3rd grade without full certification. And believe me I spent EVERY summer looking for a middle school position but districts were reluctant to hire me without being certified. Not to mention I still had no experience in teaching middle school because my principal never made good on her promise to move me into sixth grade. When she moved me to FIRST grade during my fifth year there that was the final straw for me. I left the field of education altogether due to burnout and figuring maybe a career as an educator just wasn't meant to be due to so many roadblocks I'd faced.

    That was in 2013. I took a year to regroup and worked in corporate but I wasn't fulfilled so I began working as a sub in fall 2014. I want to try and return to teaching full time but I don't know how to explain my situation. It seems like I'm a lazy procrastinator and that's far from the truth. I REALLY need to pass that EC-6 in order to get more job opportunities. But I can't reveal to them that I've failed it twice. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I'm so good with kids and they are my passion but that freaking test is standing in my way :(
     
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  3. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    How many times are you allowed to take it?
    I'd keep on trying; you'll eventually pass it, right?
    Otherwise, you could try a different charter school or a private school in the meantime.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You simply explain the charter didn't require the certification....but it is going to be very difficult (in my area of NJ it would pretty much be impossible) for you to be considered as a competitive candidate for most positions when there are others who will be applying for the same jobs as you who have their certication complete as well as proven experience. :sorry:
     
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  5. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    I understand. Thank you for your honesty.
     
  6. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    You can take it as many times as you need but I grew rather discouraged after failing it the second time. Especially when I talk to others who have taken it 8 times. One teacher has taken it 15 times and her job is on the line this year if she doesn't successfully pass it.
     
  7. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    What the heck is with this test that so many people are failing it multiple times?
     
  8. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    And it's comments like these that makes the process even more unbearable. I realize there are many that passed it on their first try but that doesn't mean you have to make others feel like idiots because they are having a hard time. Now I am not saying that was your intent but it's responses such as these from other fully certified teachers that makes the rest of us feel like minions.
     
  9. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I thought you passed the middle school LA test. Can you get a credential in that?
     
  10. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    I was actually thinking that there was something up with the test, did not mean to offend, but grow a thicker skin. You're going to need to figure out how to pass the test if you want to get your certification.
     
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  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    EducateElise, sounds like you could do with some hugs. I believe MissJill was suggesting that what's wrong here is the test, not you.
     
  12. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    If you can't pass the test, you need to look into another field or discipline.
     
  13. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    I have heard from many educators that more people are able to pass the generalist 4-8 rather than the EC-6. I have never took either one, so I don't know.

    I'm kind of in the same situation as you. I regret it because its not doing me much good, but I have my ELAR 4-8 too, I have a SPED supplemental with it.

    What area do you live in original poster?
     
  14. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Some people are just not good test takers. These tests are so tricky too. If this is her passion, she shouldn't give up. She only took it twice, its not bad.
     
  15. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    I apologize. I didn't mean to snap at you. That's why I said I wasn't sure what your intent was. :hugs:
     
  16. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    Took the words right out of my mouth. THANK YOU for understanding.
     
  17. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    Houston, TX
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I believe you will be best served by giving 110% effort, study, and utilizing every resource you can muster to pass this test and get the weight off of your back. The side benefit is that it greatly increases the jobs you will be able to apply to. I understand about not passing the first or second time - my son has a devil of a time with the old standardized tests with the bubble answer sheets. However, he is much improved now that these tests are computerized. Without the constant checking to make sure he is on the right line, he feels like he has twice time time to just recall and consider.

    If education is calling to you, then you have to answer with your very best effort. I am sure that there are universities where education majors probably form study groups for this test, or online groups that help each other study for the test. It is more than moral support, but rather a way to be held accountable and see the efforts of the group create success all around.

    I agree that you must find a way to become certified, or walk away. It would be a shame not to give this thing one more try, don't you think? Get your study materials, lock yourself away with them for a set period every day/evening. As a science teacher my favorite trick, the one I teach all my students, is study hard, all the way to bed time, and then go to bed without watching TV, without listening to the radio or music, without making a phone call, or having a conversation with anyone. Simply close the books and go to sleep. Your brain will continue working on what information you were learning, and find a place to store the knowledge. Doing anything that isn't going directly to sleep disrupts the process and interferes with laying down the information so you can access it at a later time. Who knew that there was actually some good from late night cramming sessions? We were part of the way to something useful, but we usually forgot the sleep. Oh, well . . . Best of luck.
     
  19. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    Thank you and I agree with everything you've typed. Especially about blocking out all distractions and setting aside hours to study. I realize I need to buckle down and make a sacrifice.
     
  20. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    Get the quizlet app and search texes ec-6, i used it to study for my esl and i think it helped. I was able to do the matching game a few times a day when i was not busy.
     
  21. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    don't give up. Like you I struggled with some of the tests required for my cert. I took them more than twice. It was frustrating and discouraging. However, the feeling you get when its passed...is well worth the struggle. I had a professor once tell me "we value the things we worked hardest for!" Use each obstacle as a motivator. Your struggles will help you relating to students who struggle! Head up! You got this!
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    EducateElise, you might want to come check out the Multiple Subject Tests subforum: we discuss various states' tests for elementary education subject matter. Pop over there and tell us what domains (=subject areas) are giving you grief and how, and let's see what we can do for you.

    Remarkably many takers of teacher tests don't pass on the first or the second go but do have what it takes to pass, with some help. In some cases the subject matter needs to be explained differently; in others test taking itself is the issue, and the test taker can benefit from a variety of strategies, up to and including self-hypnosis; in still others, old demons need to be laid to rest, such as the person in the test taker's past who sowed the seeds of doubt and discouragement.

    If studying in great big gulps works for you, grand. If it doesn't, try studying in smaller bites. And look for connections between what you're supposed to know for the test and what you've seen in the classroom/on the playground/in real life.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I didn't mean to imply that there needs to be long study periods, only that if you are studying late at night, give your brain the best shot at processing the session by going directly to sleep. There's a great, short article on this from "Science News Online." I think it may have been called "Don't Answer That." I am always about getting every bit of benefit from the study sessions whenever possible. ;)
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Wasn't a criticism of your post, vickilyn, but a response just-in-case to the OP. Some people catch themselves setting aside a couple of hours to study, then glimpsing the prep book on the desk and deciding that some household task desperately needs doing, then beating themselves up emotionally. In such cases, it can be helpful to give oneself permission to study just for a much shorter burst (as short as ten minutes), with the option of extending the time when it runs out. The increments can be increased later as one's stamina increases or one's fear drops.
     
  25. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    The Generalist is a tricky test but IMO the math and science are the hardest sections fact wise and the ELA gets you down to 2 good choices that are SO similar it's insane. All that math we learn in schools doesn't benefit us on a daily basis other than 2-3rd grade culminating in add, subtract, multiply, divide.

    I wish you luck because if you think the generalist was hard TX is trying to weed out the over-saturation of elementary/middle teachers with the new Core Subjects. Now you have to pass each section with a 240 or above.

    OP that one is so much harder AND it's timed for each section.


    Try T-CERT and quizlet. I found the Generalist EC-4 study book at Half Price and that helped more than anything. Most aids tell you about the competencies but that study book was pretty much a textbook giving you a crash course in elementary education. That is what's needed.

    Timelines, the names of all math equations and facts....Pythagorean theorem :eek:, the social studies...the who,what,where, when of the Battle of San Jacinto, mass is (insert definition), kinetic energy is (insert definition), the water cycle and more.

    Are you smarter than a 5th grader type of study facts that help on the test.

    I'm curious on what charter doesn't require full certification as I'm in Houston too. I thought everyone did.

    I think you should have kept going at it even when you stopped teaching because it's such a hurdle for you.
     
  26. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Keep working on passing the test. You've gotten some great advice already on how to help prepare. I do agree that until you have your cert there isn't much point in applying. But when you pass the test and have your cert, if anyone questions the length if time between finishing your teaching program and getting certified you can simply state the charter school didn't require it so you didn't pursue it. I think that's a logical answer that shouldn't raise any red flags. Hopefully with your cert in hand and the years of experience you have teaching, you'll be able to get a job in a public school. Good luck!
     
  27. EducateElise

    EducateElise Rookie

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    Yes they are beginning to crack down on that aspect NOW but when I applied in 2007 most only wanted you to be enrolled in an ACP. They considered you as being 'highly qualified' and were willing to accept you as you completed your internship year.
     
  28. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Charter schools allow about 10-15% (I forgot the exact number) of their staff to not have full certification (in IL anyway)
     
  29. mairak

    mairak Rookie

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    are you still looking to study? I can study with you. I am trying to pass this "core subject ec6" as well. right now I am studying for ESL supplement. Does anyone have an idea how that test is? or if that certification is even good to have?
     
  30. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    .
     

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