Last month I finished my prac with Year 3/4. It was such an enriching learning experience in which I was guided by a very capable and supportive practitioner. I feel really very lucky to have developed a good relationship with my supervising teacher and to have landed a mentor who set me goals and gave been feedback on how to reach them.
Since then, it has been a gruelling month of testing, testing, and…oh yeh, more testing. I got back to university and launched straight into assessments which was, frankly, like drawing blood from a stone. I undertook the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students which left me feeling disgruntled, and last week I completed my interview with the Department of Education.
First of all, I think it is worth mentioning that I am strongly in support of measures that ensure teacher quality. Educational research tells us that teacher quality is one of the most important indicators of learning success for students. I think rigorous entry requirements to teacher training courses is of the utmost importance, not only to ensure we get the best thinkers and practitioners entering teaching, but to fight perceptions that keep arising in the media that teacher quality is poor.
HOWEVER, having to sit a 4.5 hour test to prove I am numerate and literate, when I am nearing the end of my Masters of Teaching is a pretty atrocious policy. I’m hoping the policy will change to ensure that these tests are undertaken before people invest time and money into university courses. Which would make sense. In case you were wondering, I passed and I’ve also since found out that I’ve been approved to teach following my interview with the Department. I am well on my way to becoming a bona fide teacher!