Holy crap. Four freaking hours of testing!
In the state of Georgia, a whole butt-load of teachers joined me in jumping through the certification hoop of GACE testing. A lot, lot, lot of very young teachers were at my site, which happened to be waaay out in the boondocks, at least by the route Mapquest took me. I expected those guys from Deliverance to come out of the woods at any second! I was there around 7:45 a.m. and we were eventually let in to find our hall, room and seat. Our test proctor was a bit of a test Nazi, and clamped down on our pre-test chatter. But before the gag order, I was able to learn that some of my fellow teachers from Magnolia County were there, mostly Special education and Early Childhood teachers.
I was taking Science I and Science II tests. Science I is life and earth science content areas, while science II is the chemistry/physics stuff. I have a decent background in all areas except the earth science where I’ve just managed to pick up things from my other science courses. All in all it wasn’t too bad, except the two written response questions at the end of each test. That was an effort for me, not because I can’t write (I have a blog, hello?!) but because my penmanship is so sorry that it alone would probably qualify me for any medical school. So I had to try to take my time to be neat. I still wonder about that. At least the GRE was computerized and I could type it so it felt more like blogging than a test!
The early childhood folks were the first ones to escape our overheated classroom. Those of us taking tests requiring calculators were the last ones sweating it out. By the end of the thing, I was pretty much spent.
Aside from the youngerness of the other test takers, there was one another feature that made me stick out. I was the only guy in the room. The male-female ratio in education has always been lopsided, but 25:1? Too bad I’m no longer single, because these tests would be a great place to meet women! Oh well, if Jane kicks me out, I’ll know what to do.
For all of my fellow teachers who took the GACE this last time out, relax. I know you’ll pass because the tests are only designed to determine a minimum level of competency. The fact that you’ve been able to suffer through my blog indicates that you’re already exceptional!
In other news, I did spend Sonny’s Funny Money. I was in the local Big-Store and I had more than one person ask me which school I taught at or if I was a teacher. No, I was not wearing a name tag or badge or anything, and I was just buying office supplies. One was a girl who couldn’t have been more that 11 or 12 and I’d never seen before. Another was the checkout lady in electronics. She said I just looked like a teacher. “If you said you weren’t a teacher, I was going to say you should be one because you just look like a teacher.”
So if you’re curious as to what I look like, just picture in your mind a male teacher in his 40’s. Apparently I match the archtype. Perhaps when a body is in a profession long enough they begin looking the part. I don’t mind looking like a teacher as there are many worse things a person could look like. “Hey, you look like arsonist!” or “Hey, you like you should be a politician!” Or perhaps “You look like you should be an educational lobbyist/consultant in Washington!” Now that would just be plain rude.