One of the conditions of my acceptance into the Transition to Teaching program and the award of my fellowship was taking (and passing) the Praxis 2 earth space science exam which I did earlier this month. There was a fair amount of intensive study and expense involved in that endeavor and I was relieved as all get out to have the experience behind me. So you may wonder why I would be considering taking yet another Praxis 2 test!
When I went in to the university to sign my fellowship contract the professor in charge recommended that I consider taking the Praxis 2 knowledge exam in social studies. A passing score would enable me to be certified in that area as well as the earth/space sciences and that would presumably make me more competitive in the job market. I wondered about that so I took a look at the Indiana Department of Education website where all teaching jobs are listed. Currently there are 100 open positions teaching science (some of which are biology or chemistry positions) and 25 social studies/history positions.
Next I took a look at the Praxis 2 test at a glance for social studies – the test is 130 questions that cover U.S. History, World History, Government/Civics/Political Science, Geography, Economics, and Behavioral Sciences! I ran through some of the 29 example questions to get a feel for just how much intensive study I would need for a passing score. The answer – too much! I think with all that I have on my plate currently – my part time job at the Prosecutor’s Office, fundraising and finding a home and getting us moved, the kids out of school for the summer, raising goats, and taking three classes – I just don’t have the time for the amount of wide ranging study that would be required.
As an aside, for fun I ran through the sample questions for the test on Environmental Education and the results indicate I could probably pass without additional study; however regrettably that test is only good for teaching in Pennsylvania!