Test scores an advantage for jobs?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by loveeducation, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. loveeducation

    loveeducation New Member

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    Jan 30, 2009

    I will be finished with my California secondary credentials by the end of the year. For now, I'm just doing the requirements for science and English. The whole state seems to be a mess right now, so I'm very nervous about finding a job. I know English is unlikely to help with a job, so I am taking the CSET for science as well. I can teach science and I'm open to inner city as well as rural schools, so hopefully my subject and flexibility will help.

    Here's what I'm wondering... I am a member of Mensa with an IQ in the 99th percentile. All of my test scores are in the 98-99th percentile. I also have a 4.0 GPA in all undergrad, grad and credential classes. Content matter comes very easily to me and I would have no problem passing the CSET in more areas so that I have more options.

    When jobs are rare and hard to find, are administrators going to consider things like perfect test scores, etc? Will that help me get a job over someone who has similar qualifications but low to average scores?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Admin aren't going to be looking at perfect test scores or GPAs. They are looking for the best fit for the school, how you interact in the interview, and how you present yourself. I do think you are doing the right thing by getting a science credential though.

    Good luck!
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you pass CSET, the district won't even know by how much: passing scores are reported only as --PASSED--. And it might be prudent not to mention Mensa: a check of the threads on gifted/talented education will reveal that educators are more than slightly ambivalent about intelligence, especially when it looks like it's being flaunted.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    loveeducation,
    It has been my experience that it makes no difference about test scores, so long as you have passed. That's all administrators want to know. As to the 4.0, you'd be shocked how uncommon a 4.0 is among educators! And honestly, if you mention it, people might smile and say "how nice!" it won't reallye help you. (Especially if the person interviewing you had a 3.2 GPA when he or she went to college.)

    I would also be very careful about touting high IQ scores or MENSA membership at any point during the interview. Mentioning high test scores may come across as bragging, especially to an administrator who may have only passed his or her test by a point or two. In that case, it will not help you get a job. Mentioning MENSA (unless you are certified in and looking for a job in the gifted department) may backfire on you as well. How do you know that your potential "new boss' isn't bitter about not being accepted? I hate to point this out, but it is human nature that we tend to be very wary of supervising people who are smarter than we are.... or who think they are smarter than we are..... Your potential new boss may fall into that category.

    I'm not suggesting that you are bragging or touting anything... or that you shouldn't be proud of all you have accomplished. I'm just giving you a piece of advice from someone who has been on both sides of the interview table. If you want to "Wow!" them, do it with your passion, your volunteer work, and you rcreativity. Innate intelligence (as measured by an IQ test) is not an accomplishment, per se, it is what you were born (and blessed) with.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Congrats on all of your accomplishments! I too do not feel that anyone will even ask about these things though. They are looking for a good fit for their school, so test scores etc. will likely not matter.
     
  7. glen

    glen Companion

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    Massachusetts reports MTEL scores the same way now. If you meet the requirement, you only know that you passed. Scores are only given to those who do not meet the qualifying score. MA does, however, give a little feedback about how you did in each subset of questions (answered most or all questions correctly, answered many questions correctly, etc.).
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    CSET also gives that feedback - but it goes only to the test taker.
     
  9. glen

    glen Companion

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    That's my understanding for the MTEL, too.
     
  10. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    loveeducation - haha, I'm a member of Mensa too, but I NEVER tell anyone or list it on my applications/resume. I did consider mentioning it once when I applied for a summer gifted program, especially since I don't have a degree in math, but ended up deciding not to. Besides, as a first-year math teacher, I make so many mistakes and would hate it if I felt like administration expected some sort of perfection out of me!

    So, I would say not to mention test scores. If you feel like you can pass the CSET in other content areas, go for it - I'd imagine that that'd make you the most "hireable" :)
     
  11. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    You're getting very good advice. It's good for the admin to think that you are bright, but they might not want you to seem brighter than they are...they should be looking for the best of the best, but people are still human, right? They want to hire people they feel comfortable with.

    It's hard, because you're proud of those accomplishments, but other people will often get immidiately defensive or make assumptions about why you are providing that information. The only people it would help with are likely other people who are able to say the same thing and there's no way to know if your admin is in that category. My principal, for example, thinks that the best teachers are those who struggled in school, because they are able to be empathetic and patient. I tell him stories about how hard I worked to pass science. It was AP chemistry, but he doesn't need to know that.
     
  12. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I would agree with the above comments about Mensa, but because of your aptitude in many subjects, perhaps you've been a member of school clubs or organizations, or perhaps you've done some tutoring? Those would make you more marketable because the Principal might be able to envision you heading up clubs or after-school activities at their school. I've heard that any experience tutoring for SAT-type tests is a real plus.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't think it's test score envy. I think that administrators realize that there's a LOT more to being a good teacher than simply being bright. I thik that an over emphasis on your intelligence will come across as that being all you've got to offer.

    And I have to agree with your prinicpal, Kate. I've worked with a lot of teachers over the years. One in particular comes to mind. Give her a class of bright kids, and she was wonderful-- she really pulled them up to a different level and pulled the best out of them.

    But she simply could NOT understand how someone might NOT understand the material. Come on, it's only Precalculus, right? She simply couldn't wrap her head around the concept that someone could find this difficult.

    Teachers absolutely need to be bright. But that's only one tiny part of the equation.
     
  14. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    I agree that there's much more to teaching than being able to grasp the concepts you are teaching, but I don't think that's the reason not to mention those abilities. That would never have been the main focus of her application.

    I'm disappointed to hear that you think that people who were strong in school are not as good at teaching as those that struggled. Many of the special education teachers I went to school with had very strong academic experiences. I think lack of empathy and patience are more related to individual personalities than to academic ability.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I never meant to imply that bright teachers aren't good ones. I would like to think of myself as fairly bright. But I do think that teachers who have struggled, even a little, along the way DO bring that empathy that some of their peers simply don't have.

    And the fact that your particular struggle was in an AP course isn't the point; you realize that sometimes you simply don't get the material the first time it's presented. It's that realization that I'm talking about-- that sometimes material needs to be rephrased or repeated-- that teachers need to internalize. (My own particular struggle was Calculus I when I took it as a HS Senior.)

    Sympathy and Empathy aren't always the same thing.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To illustrate sympathy vs. empathy: I knew a young doctor whose bearing toward his patients after surgery changed radically after he had his wisdom teeth out: it wasn't till then that he really understood pain and the lingering effects of surgical anaesthetics. He might eventually have gotten to the same place through listening to his patients, and to those of his peers who had surgical procedures - but this way his learning curve was dramatically shortened.
     

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