“Praxis” Makes Perfect?

praxis_wordleBy Sabrina Bong — There comes a time in every girl’s life when her heart starts racing, her mind starts spinning, and she can’t concentrate on anything else.

No, I am not talking about Prom or even falling in love; instead, I’m talking about taking the Praxis II.

The Praxis II: Professional School Counselor is a comprehensive exam that future school counselors need to take in order to get certified and licensed to practice. This past weekend, my fellow school counselors and I took the Praxis II. After two harrowing hours, we walked out with aching heads and pencil lead all over our fingers. Taking it was bittersweet: I am glad that the anxiety over taking the test is over, but at the same time, I’m nervous about whether I passed or not. Unfortunately, I have quite some time to mull over whether I passed or not; my results won’t arrive until four to six weeks later.

Taking the Praxis II was, by far, the most exhausting experience of my life. There was a lot of material that was covered on the exam, and I struggled to study all of it. Some of the material I was much more confident about – Marquette really prepares their students when it comes to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model. I had no trouble with the questions that involved the different counseling skills. However, there was some material that I hadn’t looked at since my first year of graduate school, like theories of counseling and assessment materials. The pressure was also increased when I found out that no Marquette student had ever failed the Praxis II. I definitely do not want to be known as the first one who has!

However, I will probably not have much time to think about the test. My internships have been keeping me busy, particularly the elementary school one. I spend two days a week at the elementary school, and the kids keep me on my toes. One of my favorite things about the elementary school is that I spend a large chunk of my time teaching Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) classes. My supervisor, Bridget, has slowly been letting me take the reins when it comes to teaching. Though I am still working on my classroom management skills (I do not have the patented “mom-look” that Bridget has; whenever she gives a student that “look,” even I get a little scared!) I have been learning a lot about organization and curriculum building.

The middle school has been fantastic as well. I had the opportunity to conduct my own individual planning conference, which was a great experience. It’s been a lot of fun helping the students choose their classes for high school! I’ve also been meeting with students on an individual basis and am even starting a small group during lunch time. The only downside of the middle school is that so many of the students are taller than me! The sixth graders, especially, delight in the fact that they are taller than one of the counselors.

With the Praxis behind me, it looks like the next major milestone I will hit in my graduate school career is graduation!

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