Sunday, January 15, 2012

2 Down, 2 To Go

This week has been jam-packed full of teacher-y happenings. Mostly, in the form of studying for the Math Content Praxis II that I took yesterday morning.

The Praxis tests are a series of tests that teacher candidates have to pass in order to get their teacher licenses. So, basically, they determine whether or not I will have a future career in education. I took the Principles of Learning and Teaching (basically a test that shows that you know how to be a good teacher) last fall, and I passed easily. I mean, I would hope so. I have been teaching in some form since I was 14.

But the Math Content... that was a whole different story.
This test covers all math material from the 7th grade level to the math that I am taking now as a senior in college. No joke. I bought a review book and have been slowly plugging away at it since mid-December. Last Sunday night, I got down to serious studying, and completely freaked out. I attempted the first of the practice tests, and it was ridiculous! It was as if the more I was studying, the dumber and dumber I felt. Cue minor panic attack.

I talked to my roommates, my parents, and my brother, and they calmed me down enough for me to look at the material seriously again. I decided that I would study for a few hours every night leading up to the test, and that was all I could do. You can only cram so much into one little brain in a week.

My life this week was spent a prisoner my desk. With my space heater by my feet (my apartment is always outrageously cold), and my nose in this book. Over 300 pages of torture.
It's amazing how the pressure of the test combined with the frustration and lack of self-confidence could make me hate studying something that I usually really enjoy. There may have been a few incidents in which the book ended up thrown on the floor in frustration.

Friday night came around, and I just couldn't do it any more. So, I quit the studying for the night, painted my nails, watched a movie with my roommate, and went to bed early. I woke up early enough to give myself enough time to wake up, eat a good breakfast, and take my time getting ready.
Breakfast. The same as every morning. Oat bran, blueberries, apple, topped with peanut butter. The true breakfast of champions.
At this point, my mental health was more important than staring at the same math problems over again.

I made it to the test building with perfect timing to get settled and hit the bathroom before the test (which I did again during the test and right after. I have no idea what is with my teeny weeny bladder. TMI? Sorry, I'm not sorry).

It went better than expected! I really do think my studying helped, and even more than that, giving myself the time to relax the night before made a huge difference. I will never be one of those crazies who pulls all-nighters right before exams. Girl's gotta get her beauty rest!

The day wrapped up in an equally delightful way. Lunch and coffee with a bestie. Zumba and a cardio workout at the gym. Relaxing dinner. A night out with some great friends.

It's just amazing to me that a week that started out so full of anxiety could do such a 180 and end with an awesome weekend! I think this is only a foreshadowing of how awesome the rest of this quarter is going to be. I have a good feeling about this one!

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