I have a love-hate relationship with the Writing CASA. Okay, hate is a pretty strong word, so I'll use dislike instead. I dislike the writing CASA because I failed it multiple times and had to re-take it. I had to do EXTRA work to prepare myself to pass it, as well as taking college courses and working. I started to realize that I was HORRIBLE with grammar, and writing is not my strong suit. The writing CASA made me ask myself, "How did I make it this far with schooling if I don't know how to write?!" Deep down inside, I felt defeated! How am I suppose to teach little kids grammar if I don't even get it??
I discussed my feelings with others, and each time they told me not to give up. Your writing is not that bad... I had one professor that decided to take her time throughout the day and help prepare me for the test. I would drive to school (an hour and a half away) a couple of days during the week for about an hour long tutoring session and a grammar class with her. When I started my tutoring sessions with her, I felt so "dumb." She would ask me specific questions about grammar, and I would answer with "Idk." I felt myself cringing when she asked me a question because I knew I would not know the answer. I would whisper it and hope it was correct. Deep down inside, I just wanted to be that grammar police professor that made college students cringe when she/he graded papers. As time went by, I made myself flash cards, cheat-cheats, and study materials. I did as much as I could to prepare me for the writing CASA. It just wasn't enough to pass the Writing CASA yet. I ended up taking the Writing CASA THREE times before successfully passing it.
A part of me is thankful that the Writing CASA showed me that I needed to re-learn grammar essentials and how to write a paper correctly. It allowed me to work with a fantastic tutor that I ended up loving because of all the help she gave me. Towards the end of the tutoring sessions and the grammar class, she made me feel that I accomplished so much. She would show me previous writing samples that I wrote before and writing samples that I just wrote. It showed me the progress that helped build my confidence. She is a tough professor, but in the long run, she helped me out tremendously. In no way am I where I want to be with understanding grammar and the writing process. It still haunts me till this day. I tell myself every time I get down on myself while writing something, "Look at all the progress you made! Your writing has improved!" Plus I have DATA to back it up (that's teacher talk, :)... It still is a struggle and makes me get down on myself, but I encourage myself daily to improve my writing skills. I will be taking another grammar class during the fall semester and studying the materials I received from my professor. If you want to REACH your DREAM, you will be determined to do ANYTHING to achieve that dream. Until next time...
I officially became a Red Wolf! The school is everything I wanted; small class size, one-on-one support, and professors that cared. First, I had to take a couple of general education classes that consist of math and writing. The other courses were an intro to teaching, etc. These classes would prepare me to succeed in taking the area of study courses. After I successfully passed these classes with the required grade, I was ready to schedule "method classes" (these are the area of study classes). Some requirements needed to be achieved before scheduling Method Courses; I needed to pass three CASA (Core Academic Skills Assessment) tests, received a passing grade in previous courses, and take the courses that are required to attend the method classes. I had two out of the three requirements but did not pass my Writing and Mathematics CASA before the start of the next semester. Fortunately, I did pass my Reading CASA! :) The education department allowed me to take one of the method courses (Methods of Science) even though I did not successfully pass the writing and mathematics CASA. I concentrated on passing mathematics and writing while taking ANOTHER writing course, special education classes, and Methods of Science. I needed to be full time to receive financial aid (that's a whole other story). That semester or I mean year turned into a LONGGG one...
CASA is a required test in Indiana designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills about the REPA Indiana Educator Standards. Like every other test you take in College, there are guidelines. For each test, you will have to pay a fee, take it at a local college testing center, and may not bring ANYTHING in the testing room with you. You have 105 minutes to take the writing test, there are 42 questions, and have to write a constructive response assignment at the end. For the Mathematics test, you have 75 minutes to complete it, there are 40 questions, you are given a pad of dry erase paper and a dry erase marker to use, and you CAN NOT use a calculator. For the Reading test, you have 75 minutes, there are 40 questions, and you are given a dry erase paper and a dry erase marker to use.
I am not here to complain about the process that is required to take method courses and to graduate but I am here to tell people I DID NOT give up and I am still following my dream of becoming a teacher. I push myself, inspire others to do the same, and show that dedication and hard work will pay off. The CASA obstacles I had to face have been faced by others in my school as well. I have heard stories of students GIVING UP and not coming back to finish their degree because of not passing the CASA'S. Anyone that is reading this that has taken the CASA before you all probably understands what I mean! My blog of the Writing and Mathematics CASA will be written soon... Until next time...
My journey to becoming a teacher started at Ivy Tech. I chose a small community college close to home. My goal was to achieve two years of college and transfer to the Elementary Teacher program offered through Ivy Tech. This program was located about 5 minutes away from Ivy Tech. I didn't have to drive far and I already knew the professors! On the plus side, I would be with the same classmates I have been with.
Just like everyone else life happens and I decided to just get my associates and work full time. I was dealing with different circumstances in life and the right choice (I thought) was to get a degree and work full time. I achieved my Associates Degree in the year 2016. I started working at a daycare and became an infant teacher. It was nice having money to pay my bills and buy extra things I wanted. A year went by and I just felt that I could do more with my life. I always wanted to be a teacher but felt that I "COULDN'T" do the schooling part.
I decided to go back to school and called Ivy Tech to see if the Elementary Program was still available. Sadly, they couldn't get enough people, so that program closed down. I kept telling myself if only I stuck with it and went on to my bachelor's degree I would have been able to go to that program and graduate a lot sooner. But we all know "crap" happens! Ivy Tech told me the program moved to IUE which is over an hour drive for me and I knew that was totally out of the picture. I told my mom about IUE and how far away it was. With no hesitation, she said let's go look at it. We took a tour that following week and we both fell in love with the school. I knew this was going to be the school where I will get the most one-on-one attention and the best education. This is where I continued my journey to becoming a teacher.