Teaching Fellowship interview & Praxis tests

I applied to The Milwaukee Teaching Fellows last week, not really expecting anything to come of it. To my surprise, I got an email from them today saying they want me to come out for an interview. I’ve looked over the materials they sent, and I’m thinking I may be in over my head - at this moment, anyway; there’s too much to do in too short a period of time.

First, the interview itself: I have to give a short “lesson” to the other candidates present. Basically each of us takes turns doing this, while the rest of us pretend to be students. I have zero teaching experience. Zilch. This “lesson” scares the crap out of me. Yeah, I want to teach, but after I’ve had some training; making my debut at this interview is worrisome.

Regardless of whether I make it past the interview, I’ve got to register for the two Praxis tests ASAP. The “late” deadline for the Praxis II is today, meaning I’ve already missed the regular deadline and have to cough up an extra $45. The test is on 4/24. The MTF says these tests are quite difficult, but of course they’d say that - they want their candidates to pass, and therefore study hard. I don’t know that this is enough time to study properly for these tests, difficult or not - especially since I’ve got my regular classes to worry about in the meantime.

It’s probably a long shot that anyone here has been to one of these Teaching Fellows interviews, but on the off chance there is, I’m hoping I might get a better idea of what to expect - especially about that lesson thing.

More generally, about the Praxis tests - are they really that difficult? I’ve never taken an SAT or GRE or anything like that, so that kind of comparison won’t work for me. Sorry! :slight_smile:

The only Praxis test that I’m familiar with is the math test. I remember it as being relatively straightforward, though not to the point where I could just walk in and pass it without preparation. There are huge amounts of preparation material readily available and they’re not hard to find.

For the practice lesson, everybody is nervous when they give their first demonstration lesson regardless of the audiences and the circumstances. The best advice is to simply be prepared: know exactly what you’re going to say, give practice practice lessons to an empty room; the mirror; you friends, family, pets, etc… Also be absolutely certain that you have enough material to cover the entire time alloted to you. The standard advice is to prepare 50% more than what you think you’ll need, thus guaranteeing that you won’t run out of prepared material. The other things to work on are basic teaching tips: face the audience rather than the blackboard, make eye contact but don’t dwell too long on any one person, and so forth. I can’t say much more without knowing what subject matter you’re covering.