Student Teaching, the CSET, and Film School

Our holiday break ended and school started up immediately(the kids and mine), and I have been busy ever since. I am trying to get in as much homeschooling as I can before I start my student teaching, and I am working hard at getting everything done with my school work, so that I can indeed due my student teaching.

There are so many hoops to jump through to become a teacher in California, and to be honest, I am suprised anyone does it at all. There is the CBEST, CSET, and the RICA. Then there are the TPA tasks. In addition there is all the classes you have to take, the four and a half months of student teaching, and the seminars. Then there is the Constitution class, the CPR class, and the electronic portfolio you have to create. It is so much, but I am happy to say that I am pretty far through that list. I still have to take the RICA, do some of my TPA’s, and do my student teaching, but I feel that at least I am fairly close to my goal. I should have my credential by July, and I will have my masters in January of next year.

Thinking back on everything I have done already I would have to say the CSET was the hardest test I ever had to take. A year ago I was debating going to law school, so I took the LSATs, and I can honestly say this test was harder. Here is a sample question from a CSET practice test I had:

Cell membranes will allow small molecules such as oxygen, water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, glucose,etc. to pass through. But they will not allow larger molecules such as sucrose, starch, protein, etc. to pass through. If an animal or plant cell is placed into a liquid containing water, one of three things will happen. What are they?

That was one of the essay questions in the science area. Here is a math essay question:

The diagram above is a triangular prism. The triangular faces are 10″ at their base and have sides of 13″. Of the three rectangles, two are congruent and have dimensions of 9″ by 13″, while the incongruent rectangle has a dimension of 9″ by 10″. Using your knowledge of algebra and geometry, calculate the volume and surface area of this polyhedron. Explain how you got your answers.

Anyway when I first saw these sample questions I freaked a little, actually a lot. There are three sections to the CSET. There is math and science section, a language arts and history section, and a physical education, human development, and arts section. I actually passed all three sections the first time I took it, and that was because I studied day and night for a month. My results were interesting to me though because they showed that my knowledge is strongest in math, science, and history. The area I performed the weakest? The arts.

For those of you who do not know this, I majored in film in college. Film is a visual art. I found it  interesting that I did  poorly in this area. I always knew that my strengths lie in math and science, but I thought I possessed some artistic knowledge. I find myself questioning that now.

But if I could go back and change my major, would I? Not a chance. In what other major does a twenty year old kid get to intern at Disney and Sony studios. In what other major would I have been able to take classes on the back lot of Universal for a whole summer? What other major would have given me the opportunity to make an animated film and a wonderful murder mystery film. I loved film school from my first class, Film as Language Arts, to my last, which was Film Theory. I may not have an aptitude for the arts, but I do have a passion for it, and I am glad I majored in it.


~ by Jill Harper on January 11, 2010.

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