Saturday, June 10, 2006

The NBPTS test...

I'm not allowed to tell you what's on it, but I can tell you how I think I did:

QUESTION 1: LITERARY ANALYSIS. I had to analyze a poem and its literary devices. I think I nailed it.

QUESTION 2: UNIVERSAL THEMES. Nailed it. Yay me.

QUESTION 3: TEACHING READING. I do believe I properly identified a student misconception in reading, and have a strategy to address that misconception. I expected this one to be harder for me, but I think I did well with it. In fact, it might well be another nail.

QUESTION 4: LANGUAGE STUDY. This is where things started to go a little southward, in part due to fatigue, and in part due to the fact that this was my least comfortable question. I studied for it, I identified the lowest-level error in the student's oral and written work, and I suggested some (fairly lame, I'm afraid) techniques for dealing with it.

QUESTION 5: ANALYSIS OF WRITING. I thought this would be easy, but much to my chagrin, it was difficult. This is the exercise that deals with a prose piece's "audience and purpose," and to talk about how the style demonstrates each. I was able to do one of those two very, very well, but was very weak in the other...perfunctory in some places. I wonder how they'll handle that?

QUESTION 6: TEACHING WRITING. Another fairly tough one. I had no problem figuring out what I wanted the kid to work on, and I had a strategy for how to teach it, but in retrospect, I wonder if I communicated that strategy well enough, or if it was too old-school a strategy. Borderline, but probably falling against me.

On the whole: I feel rock-solid about the first three. There's a chance that I totally tanked on #4, because I may not have known what the hell I was talking about--I basically just did some internet research and tried to show that research. #5 and #6 I'm less sure about.

This adds up to 40% of my overall score (6.67% each). My portfolio counts for the other 60%. I think my portfolio--which so dominated my life until March--was strong enough that, when combined with what I think will be solid scores on #s 1-3, will be enough that I won't have to bother with a retake. Nevertheless, your prayers and good vibes are appreciated.

2 comments:

Jim said...

I bet you hit it out. Keep your head down, chug around the bases, and give us all a high-five when you cross home plate.

TeacherRefPoet said...

Not only will I high-five you, Jim, but if I do in fact cross home plate, I'll welcome any emails you have for how to pass this sucker.

Unless last month's report that students of NBPTS-certified teachers don't perform better than anybody else's students (including, astonishingly, than students of teachers who tried and failed to become certified), doesn't nuke this whole thing entirely...that'd suck.