Last night we had a social event for all of the incoming Teach For America Corps members. It was so great to see such optimism and excitement for this next year! We already have 3 wonderful Corps members to replace the ones that we are loosing, and hopefully we will get 2 more.
Corps members asked me some really great questions that I think every incoming Corps member should be asking! Here are some highlights of those questions and some of the links that I told them about. Since I wasn't able to talk to everyone, hopefully this will answer some questions ya'll might have!
1. One girl asked a great question about curriculum and standards. Here is the link to the South Carolina State Standards. If you click on your content area (we will use Science as an example because that is what I use) and on your grade level, you will open up a support document. These support Docs are essentially your curriculum. They are the things that your students have to know in order to pass any state examinations in your content area. I gave them to my kids some times so they could see exactly what they needed to know.
2. The same girl (great question asker) asked me about the Praxis. She hadn't passed her Praxis yet- which I am sure many have not- and wanted to know if they would let her teach if she hadn't passed my the start of school. Yes they will let you teach without passing the Praxis! I know that is a weird thoughts, but there is a first year teacher at my school who STILL hasn't passed it! As long as you are still trying and registered for it, you can take your whole first year to pass it.
3. I got quite a few questions about giving out personal phone numbers to kids. I say DO IT! That is my personal opinion, but I think it made me so more personable and excessible to my students. They could text me about a due date, project, what to wear to an event, or just a nice Happy Memorial Day! I say, if you are comfortable with it it is a great tool to connect with your students.
4. Lastly, one Core member asked me about South Carolina state testing. Elementary and Middle Schoolers take the PASS Test. 4th and 7th graders take the test for English, Math, Science, AND Social Studies and every other grade takes English, Math, Science OR Social Studies (They randomly split the kids in half and they take one or the other). Once you get to high school you take HSAP in 10th grade. If you don't pass it in 10th grade you have to keep taking it everyone year until you pass it. You can not graduate until you have passed HSAP. High Schoolers also take an EOC (State made End of Course Exam) in Biology, English 1, US History, and Algebra.
IF you have any questions that I didn't answer feel free to ask them here!
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.