Thursday, October 9, 2014


normalIn Taking Advice from Sioux's Page, Sioux asks,

“What has a friend (or specifically a writer friend) given you that has proven to be good (or bad) advice? Inquiring minds are dying to know...”

When No Child Left Behind came around, it was determined that I was not highly qualified. Even though I had taught over 25 years, had a Masters’ degree plus 30 hours (equivalent to 2 Master’s degree), and was Nationally Board Certified, I was still not highly qualified (according to our state and federal governments).

So, I found out that I needed to be certified to teach elementary level students along with my special education certification in order to teach my high school self-contained students with all different disabilities. I applied to take the test and was told that it was scheduled for 9/11.

When I was told about this date, I felt like it was a really bad omen and was instantly depressed. I imagined failing the test and thought about what other career I could have if I couldn’t teach. I love my special education students and I love teaching. I had worked myself up into a tizzy and couldn’t even think straight.

I whined and ranted to all the friends that would listen. Many who weren’t in education could not understand my anger and bitterness. Those in education could commiserate but had no words of comfort.

Then one day, my friend Sara looked at me and said the words that had the biggest impact. She said, “Pat, before the big 9/11 day, 9/11 used to be just a normal day like any other. That is all this is. It is a normal day. You will take the test and pass it. That’s it. Just do it.”

Wow! That stopped me in my tracks. I stopped whining and ranting. It was just a day like any other day! I knew my stuff. I knew how to teach. I was a great teacher. There was no reason that I couldn’t pass this test.

On that day, I went in to take the test with a new confidence. I saw this day as the “day that I had to take the Praxis test” and not any other day. I felt good about it and even though I resented having to take the test, I put on my big girl panties and did what needed to be done in order to do what I wanted to do.

Needless to say, I passed the test with flying colors and all was well in my world again.

Thanks to Sara, she put my life in perspective again. I had blown this day way out of proportion in relation to something I needed to do. This is exactly why I share my feelings with my friends. When I need encouragement and support, they are there for me. If needed, they help me have a reality check when I need one.

What advice has someone given you? Was it bad or good? What happened? Please share.

Image: 'I saw the wind and it hugged+me.'
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