On 19 March I took the Arizona Educator's Proficiency Assessment, or AEPA, for English. Last night the results were published online. I passed. This exam now makes me highly certified to teach English in Arizona. It was not an easy exam and there were parts of that exam that had me baffled.
I am relieved. For a month I wondered if I had passed. Now that the results have been published, though, I'm not as ecstatic as I had hoped. Maybe because I know my test-taking days are far from over. The required classes I need at Cochise College are not offered this fall. I need just one more class in both the history and English department to complete my declared major required courses. I have to take British Literature II and History of Western Civilization III (and a few math classes) to have all my double major courses done.
So what shall I do? Wait it out another year or drop any plans of majoring in both? Even just pursuing a History or just and English degree isn't easy because the classes aren't offered when I can take them. I could take courses at Pima Community College instead, which is my first option. I've given up on Cochise College. I would need to take the courses either online or in the evenings; taking them during the day means I couldn't work during the day.
Now it's time to get my resume together and apply for jobs in the area. There's a teacher's fair in May I will attend. A school nearby is also still announcing an opening for an English teacher. It also needs a history teacher but I'm not taking that exam until the fall.
I wonder at times if my studying days will ever end. Later on today I'm signing up for three courses this fall: American Literature I, History of Mexico I and II (each an eight-week course) and Spanish 201. Cochise College has a habit of cancelling courses if not at least five people apply for a course. They dropped the History of Mexico course last year due to lack of interested students. Maybe this year there are enough wanting to take this course.
I have a lot planned. I intend to study math over the summer, read up on as much Modern History as I can, and to read, read, read.
The future of Arizona public education doesn't look all that promising. Governor Brewer has made drastic slashes in funding for K-12 AND for state universities and colleges. Tuition at the University of Arizona is going up 22% this fall. How can the average family afford a good education for its children?
I am tired. I am tired of always having something to study for. I am tired of having to read subjects or books that are required rather than what are interest-related. I'm tired of always having to draft up papers or do research. I enjoy learning but the stress of doing well sometimes wears thin. Yet I know that always studying for something is what good teachers do. I hope in the end this is not all in vain.