interested in va career swithers but overwhelmed by praxis 11 content challenge

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by leigha41, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Hi!
    I am interested in changing careers through va career swithcers. I graduated from college in 92 and am now 48 years old. I have worked in the hotel industry now for 10 years and it is a dead end. I have not been in school in years. Va requires you to endorse in critical shortage area so my closest bet there is middle school language arts. I have to pass praxis 11, test 0049 I think. I bought the test prep and am now very discouraged as the amount of information that I must relearn is overwhelming. I can do the grammer, but I am so overwhelmed by the literature that I am lost and already feel defeated. I did well with English in High School and College, but am simply overwhelmed by the knowledge needed to pass this test. Does anyone have advice? Maybe I should not go this route? All comments are welcome and appreciated. :help:
     
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  3. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I would find the time to volunteer at a school or after school program before you even consider passing Praxis. I don't mean this to come off as snide, but just because you did well in MS and HS that does not mean you will like teaching.

    I'm also confused about the critical shortage area. I've never heard of there being a critical shortage in Language Arts, but maybe that's specific to your area.

    Good luck with your decision, and if you decide to make the leap, head on back here! I found this place when I started Praxis and I never left :lol:
     
  4. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    These are the endorsement areas to choose from:

    Career Switcher
    Endorsement Areas

    Middle School Mathematics (6-8)
    Middle School English/Lang. Arts (6-8)
    Middle School Science (6-8)
    Middle School Social Studies (6-8)
    Mathematics (6-12)
    English (6-12)
    Biology (6-12)
    Chemistry (6-12)
    Earth Science (6-12)
    Physics (6-12 Social Studies (6-12)
    Foreign Languages (K-12)

    Back in college, I started in education and then made a dramatic shift into something else. I really want to try this but Praxis is what worries me the most. What do you teach?
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    On the Single Subject Tests subforum you'll find other discussions of Praxis II 0049 as well as discussions of other states' examinations in English. You might find it helpful to look those over.

    English has its technical terminology and tools just as other fields do. If you did well in English in high school and college, I expect that what lies before you is less learning the terminology and tools than it is re-learning them; the trick - as it will be for your future students - is not to give in to the feeling of being daunted.

    The thread "Elmer's English resources", at the beginning of Single Subject Tests, was launched for a different test than yours, but you might find the documents in it helpful. In addition, let me recommend using the Tests at a Glance document - which is probably what has you feeling as you report you do - as a source of terms to look up on the Internet.
     
  6. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Thank you so much for that encouragement. I'm not sure where to start in terms of studiying for the literature and poetry. There are literally hundreds of works. How do you know which to study? I bought the sparksnotes book of poetry and although it is very good, I cant remember all of it. At any rate, I'm glad I found this site. There is all types of stuff going on here. Its a great resource.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's generally not necessary to have studied each and every one of those works: in fact, the chances of any one taker of this test having read every work in American literature, let alone literature in English, are quite small. What you are responsible for is knowing the major literary movements in English and American literature and the names of the major writers in each; in the case of poetry, it certainly doesn't hurt to have read and thought about one representative poem (or, in the case of very long poems, a representative section of a representative poem) so you have some sense of what the writer does and how the writer is part of that movement.
     
  8. Newbee77

    Newbee77 New Member

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    I know how you feel.......

    Virgina has the second highest Praxis II score requirements in the nation. Connecticut is the highest. Its amazing how the requirements differ by state

    I found the best study guide is REA Praxis II; it covers most of the content areas contained on the test and is the most thorough. You will need to buy the copy for you desired endorsement area...Books a million usually has a good selection in stock or you can order it on Amazon.

    If you study the REA guide, you will be prepared for the exam. Good Luck !:)
     
  9. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I took and passed the 0049. I used Cliffs test prep, Spark Notes Poetry Classics, and Quick Study Academic English Grammar & Punctuation. I studied for 3 months. I read the complete Cliff test prep book. I looked up the suggestions listed in the book online (for literature)

    I passed the test the first time and really was more prepared then I needed to be. The challenge for me was the literature. The books today's youth are reading I had never heard of.

    Good luck! And follow Teacher Groupie's advise.
     
  10. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Thanks so much. I have not checked books a million yet, only Barnes and Noble. I will check that out though.

    Thanks again!
     
  11. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Congradulations! You are awsome. Thanks for the advice. I already have the Sparknotes and Cliffs. I too would like to be me prepared that I need to be.
     
  12. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    You are great! Is there a particular book that you would suggest for literature? I think my sparksnotes will be good for poetry.
     
  13. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I didn't use a particular book. In the Cliffs book there is a suggested list of books to be familiar with. I googled each of those books and read the online cliff notes. An example was Julie and the Wolves. (not saying that was a question on the test.) I'd never heard of that book or many of the others. I read the summary. I also brushed up on my shakespeare and used bullet point when writing my constructed responses. I did use up all my time...every second of it. I don't think I would have finished if I hadn't used bullet points.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you can find a copy, I quite like Christina Myers-Shaffer's The Principles of Literature - it's one of Barron's better offerings, and it's reasonably priced.

    There's enough variability in test-prep books and in users' responses to them that I generally recommend examining copies before buying - and it makes more sense to me to buy resources (like SparkNotes books, or a good used Norton anthology or two) that will continue to be useful in one's future classroom.
     
  15. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Yes, I saw from one of your other posts that you had recommended the Principles of Literature. I bought it used on Amazon today. My fear is that I will be caught off guard by a work that I was not able to study. I think I will give myself about 6 months or so. I have a demanding job that I loathe but must keep. However, once I can get this organized, I can settle down and really dig in.
     
  16. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I also completely agree about the test prep books. What good will they do if you are lost on the content? They will be great for the actual test preparation though. I don't think I could pass without them.
     
  17. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I'm nervous about the vast extent of the works. I looked in the back of the book and found the list. Your book was not on there, but there are tons of others. Most I do not know. I tried cliif notes online, but ended up with wikapedia instead. It has the summaries, but does not go much farther than that. Is that the road you took?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The specific works about which you're expected to know specific details are normally very, very standard - the sort of book that most of us go through, sometimes kicking and screaming, in high school or in college general-ed courses. For the most part, however, tests like these are much more focused on what you can do and reason through.
     
  19. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Example: Cliff had a list of books....so I googled sparknotes Julie and the Wolves, then the next book on the list. I didn't use Wiki. I am older so I was not up to date on what students were reading. Now that I'm teaching I know what's being read. Hope this helps.
     
  20. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    It really does help. Thanks so much.
     
  21. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    This is all very interesting. I took this Praxis II about a year and a half ago now. I scored in the top 10% of all test takers on this test.

    I didn't study at all. I had been out of college for about three years. My degree was in English though.

    I watched several people, mostly young college kids, fail to even finish in time. If you are a reader, I imagine you will be fine. But don't put all your hens in the grammar basket.
     
  22. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I'd been out of college for a hundred years and my degree was in social work:D I was over prepared, but I considered that a good thing. I'm always a bit jealous of those that don't have to study. But kudos to you! The state I'm teaching in now requires a different praxis to be highly qualified in SPED. I will be taking that soon....and I will study.
     
  23. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I am not an avid reader. However, I am pretty detail oriented. Yes, I have heard that the literature is huge. It's pretty much as you stated. There are standard authors, but the issue is to place them within their movements and then analyze their works and conributions.
     
  24. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I too have been out of college for a lifetime. This decision is not easy. My current job is a big hassle and a dead end. I should have though of this years ago.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, leigha41: better late than never.

    Do you own any anthologies? I like Norton best, but there are other fine choices. If so, use the table of contents as a guide to movements and authors, and then sample what the anthology includes of that author's output - you want to look at enough to get a feel for how the author does what the author does.
     
  26. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I do not have any. Before now, I had only heard of the Beatles Anthology in Itunes. lol. You have great ideas. I will check Amazon.
     
  27. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    Oops. I through I was vague. :eek:
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (TeacherGroupie silently points to the WARNING at the top of this page: it goes for Praxis tests, too.)
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Good anthologies, Norton or otherwise, make fine classroom resources too.
     
  30. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I checked Amazon. Anthologies are pretty pricey. I think I may try the library for them and atleast see one before I buy.
     
  31. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Yes, I am not sure about young or old readers. I think I will try and understand the suggested works at the back of the cliff Praxis book. Atleast start there. I will also try and grasp the "biggies" of the all the periods and atleast know something about what they offerred. Poe, Dickenson, ect. I have the time I think to study, but am overwhelmed by where to start. Its bigger than I thought and it will not be easy. I like the idea of the anthologies and may start there instead.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Try second-hand bookstores: you could do just fine with anthologies that aren't absolutely the current edition. (I still have, and use, the Nortons from my undergrad years, which were A While Back.)

    You can also use the Internet.
     
  33. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Thanks,

    I have seen some that are English, some American, some for different periods. Many are Norton. Is there one kind that has everything in it? Many seem to specialize in something or another. Also, while waiting for all of my books from Amazon, I am working to familiarize myself with simple literary terms. I really am starting from scratch it seems like, but am enjoying the challenge of the terms themselves. You have great advice and I really appreciate that you are on here and that you help.
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Yes, they do specialize, don't they?

    For general coverage, the venerable and much-updated Norton anthologies for English literature and American literature are very helpful. There are abridged versions, too. The World Literature anthology focuses mostly on literature in translation; I think there might be a separate anthology for literature in English that wasn't written in the UK or the US - and the differences are instructive.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Surely you jest!!! :p
     
  36. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I ended up going into the used bookstore and loving it in there. I do not know why. I got an anthology but it is useless to me. It has all of the important works, but nothing else. It does have a glossary in the back. The table of contents only lists the works and what page they are on. It is called "Anthology, An Inroduction to Literature", by Lynn Altenbernd. The store was ready to close so I sort of bought it on a whim. I bought Sound and Sense on the internet and felt like a goofball because the language in many of the old poems, for example, most of th poems by Robert Frost, is like Starwars Clingon language to me and I had no idea what the author was talking about. They do ask some questions at the end of each poem, but if you do not understand the poem, you really can't answer. I also popped by the library and picked up "The Idiots Guide to American Literature". That one is good and I think I can get alot of it. It also has great reveiws on Amazon. "The Principles of Literature" is on its way and I'm hoping for a lot out of it. I wanted to ask this question: The local Community College offers both English and American Lit 1 and 2. Should I wait and take those classes before studying on my own? It would really delay me. But if it would help I can try it. What are your thoughts?
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Used bookstores are treasure troves! Sound and Sense is very, very good. If you're self-disciplined, you could work through the poems in it, looking up the vocabulary as you go - Frost is not that old a poet, so it would seem that your vocabulary needs shoring up. If you need a bit more guidance than that, you might look for telecourses or online courses in English lit: see if the local educational TV station offers anything useful, or look at http://www.learner.org. If you need accountability, the community college courses might not be a bad idea.
     
  38. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    I think it's the meaning of the poetry that I'm struggling with. The poem was problably the most simple. Its "Nothing Gold Can Stay". I was frustrated because I tryed to figure out what it meant on my own and could not. I had to google it's meaning and then try for the questions. Do you have any advice on how to understand meaning?
    Some poetry is easy to figure out. for example, I know alot of the bible versus, so I can interpret them easily. Poetry that is strait forward is also easier to grasp meaning.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Is the Complete Idiots guide the one by Rozakis? If so, it might be a better choice for you to begin with than Sound and Sense.

    Here's a page of links on teaching poetry: http://home.cogeco.ca/~rayser3/poetry.htm

    What makes poetry tough is that it's distilled language: every word counts. Your task is to figure out how. Don't read fast: in fact, you'll get more out of poetry if you start reading it aloud as though you were performing it, so you begin to hear what the poem is doing.
     
  40. leigha41

    leigha41 Rookie

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    Great ideas and feedback. Yes, the author is the same. I will order the book online and try to use both. They also have the Idiots Guide to English Literature, but it is not by the same author and has absolutely horrible reviews. I have the sparksnotes for poetry and will try to know the biggest authors as well. Poetry will not be my strongest attribute here. The Sound and Sense book reminds me that I will be accountable for analyzing the work in a critical way, so I'm glad I have that too.
     
  41. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    I would also look at the 0069 for middle school math.

    I would also suggest that you work with kids to make sure it is for you. The best thing you can do is sub. The more experiance of any kind you aquire will help you. It may not help you get a job but it will you let you know if you should teach.

    I found out I love teaching from subbing.

    For the LA tests: know your vocab of LA. Know the basics of stories.
     

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