After years teaching middle school English, Peter Sipe decided to seek an elementary teaching credential in Massachusetts. Tackling the state teachers’ exam was “humbling — and motivating,” he writes.
He missed half the answers on the practice math test. “Questions 20 and 36, for example, gave me a bit of a workout,” he writes.
Then there was biology: “Why would some cells have more mitochondria than others?” He had to relearn bio.
With the help of knowledgeable friends, hours of study, and a kind and patient man named Sal Khan, I got better at the sample tests. But it was humbling. If you factor in my two graduate degrees, my fifteen-year teaching career, and the fact that I’ve written disparagingly about teacher preparation standards in these very pages, my humbling was squared (or cubed, or something).
That practice math test is not easy.