Hi everyone! Those of you who are special ed teachers probably had to take three tests, before you managed to get certified. You had to take the Basic Skills test before you even started a teacher education program. Then, before you could student teach, you had to take the LBS1 test. Finally, somewhere during student teaching, you had to take the Special Education Curriculum Test.
I was scheduled to take the LBS1 test on November 12. I had no idea what would be on it, but I did know that, if I didn't pass, I wouldn't be allowed to student teach in January. So I went on Amazon and looked for a study guide. I found one called the Special Education Learning Behavior Specialist 1 Teacher Certification Exam Guide. I bought it. I studied my brains out! I took the practice test in back, made flash cards for all of the questions I didn't get right, studied the flash cards, did the practice test again, and repeated this process until I was getting them all right all the time! Even so, I thought, I might just be memorizing the answers in the study guide, and this might not help me in the real exam! I was so nervous.
And then yesterday, I went to take the exam.
absolutely nothing I studied for was on that exam! Nothing!
There were no questions about semantics, pragmatics, syntax and morphology. Nothing about the special education referral process. Nothing about ratios of reinforcement schedules, locus of control, or methods of teaching reading. NOTHING!
Instead, it was all sort of hypothetical situations.
Just to give you an example (this is not a real question that was on the test, but just something I'm making up that would fit in nicely on the test if they ever ask me to help write a new version)...
Amy is a fourth grader with a learning disability. At a Parent-Teacher Conference, Amy's parents tell you that they'd like to work with Amy on her reading skills and they are wondering if you have any tips. What do you tell them? Choose the best answer.
A. Say, "I went through school to learn how to teach children like Amy. I'll handle the teaching, and you can handle the parenting, thank you!"
B. Give Amy's parents a list of words and ask them to drill her on them each day before dinner.
C. Recommend that Amy's parents take her to the library to choose books that are on her reading level and interesting to her, and then read together at home, with the parents reading one page and Amy reading the next; and talk about the story together.
D. Tell Amy's parents that, because of assistive technology, there is no real reason for Amy to worry about working on her reading skills. Computers can read aloud to her anything she needs read!
Which would you choose?
Basically, I wasted a lot of time studying for a test that was really more common sense than anything else. I mean, there really isn't a way you could have studied for that test, because they were all hypothetical questions and scenarios!
For anyone about to take this test, here is my advice: Relax, and trust your instincts!
Now, maybe all that stuff I studied for will show up on the Special Education Curriculum Test? I guess I'll have to wait and find out!