Monday, October 15, 2012

My quest for Texas Educator Certification

First off, let me give you a little background information.  In the state of Texas you need to pass two exams in order to get a general education certificate.  Since I speak Spanish, my major in college was Bilingual Elementary education (Pre-K thru 4th).  This meant that aside from the two exams needed for a general education certificate, I would also need to take a Bilingual Supplemental exam and a Spanish language oral exam.  So there were four exams I needed to take. I had the option of taking the Bilingual Generalist exam which is the general education exam and the bilingual supplemental exam combined but everyone that I talked to suggested that I take them separately as it was easier that way.  And that is what I did.  The first exam I took was the Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT) in Spanish.  This test required me to read and speak in Spanish. I had to record myself on a little tape recorder. I passed and was so happy I was on my way.

 I then took the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-4 (PPR) and passed. Yay! That exam was followed by the Generalist EC-4, which I also passed.  At this point I had passed the exams needed to get a general education certificate and since I was subbing and it meant a sweet raise, I applied for my certificate.

Next came the Bilingual Supplemental exam.  I studied really hard and really prepared for this exam.  You need a 240 to pass. Guess what my score was?  239. 


I could not believe it.  One point.  One.  Needless to say, I was not happy.  Each test costs $120!  What could I do but re-take it? So I did.  Second time around, bam! I got a 247. :)

You're probably wondering why I still don't have my own classroom if I have a general teaching certificate. Well, I live in a small town in South Texas, with only one school district, who will not hire you without bilingual certification. So now here I am super excited that I can finally get my bilingual certification, oh but wait.  I knew the TOPT was being updated to include writing and would now be called the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) but I thought since I had already passed the TOPT I didn't have to take the new one.  Wrong!  I go online to inquire about my bilingual certification and was told I would need to take the BTLPT because the TOPT is no longer accepted.
(My reaction was very similar to Phoebe's :10 - :25)
The BTLPT has four domains:
I. Listening Comprehension - I had to listen to conversations and answer questions.
II. Oral Expression - I had to speak in different simulated situations.
III. Reading Comprehension - I had to read several reading selections and answer questions.
IV. Written Expression - I had to respond to an email, write a lesson plan, and state my position over a topic in essay format. 

Everything is in Español and all the sections are timed. No pressure.

The point of this long post?

I just got my examinee score report for the BTLPT today. Time for some Tommy Boy-style cartwheels!


Thanks for stopping by! 
Bren

18 comments:

  1. I have heard that test is crazy difficult! My principal who is bilingual had to take it a couple of times! So good luck! I know here in Austin bilingual teachers are desperately needed! Have you ever applied anywhere else in Texas? Or are you committed to staying in your Texas town?

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  2. WOW!!! I'm amazed at all the testing you had to do!!!! I'm showing my age now. I only had to take three tests, I think. I can't even remeber it's been that long. UGH!

    I'm your newest follower!!!! :)
    Maria
    http://curiousfirsties.blogspot.com

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  3. Wow!! Congratulations on all your hard work paying off! I'm happy to be your newest follower! :)
    Growing Firsties

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  4. Holy moly! How awesome is that?!?! Thanks so much for entering my giveaway and I'm happy to see that you are new to this blogging adventure...have fun!!!!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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  5. Im taking my btlpt exam can you give me tips. Im fluent in spanish but I get stuck with certain word and timed i feel would make me nervous. Do we also need proper punctuaction such as acentos?

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  6. I'm currently studying for the 4-8/Generalist exam, which is looking pretty much impossible to pass. And I can guarantee you that NONE of the 56 teachers who work at the school that currently employs me as an instructional aide could even come close to passing it!

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  7. Hello! Congrats on passing all your examinations! I passed Bilingual Generalist EC-6 and PPR. I am pending BTLPT results but it may not be promising. Any helpful information would be great help, I am eager to start my career and inspire young minds! Thanks:)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Julie. I offer tutoring for the BTLPT. Please check out my blog and email me if you would like help. www.texeshelp.blogspot.com courtneyschonefeld@hotmail.com

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  8. I'm confused what is the difference between btlpt & the texes164 supplemental exam? I want to be a bilingual teacher. Please help me.

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    1. To be a bilingual teacher in Texas, you have to take the Bilingual Generalist EC-6 and BTLPT. Or you can take the Generalist EC-6, Bilingual Education Supplemental, and BTLPT. The bilingual supplemental exam in a multiple choice test in English over your knowledge of second language acquisition models and theories. The BTLPT tests your Spanish proficiency and comprehension (speaking, listening, writing, reading comprehension). Please check out my blog: www.texeshelp.blogspot.com

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    2. Hi, I'm currently certified as EC-4 bilingual generalist, planning on taking EC-6 bilingual generalist , I'm I going to be required to take the BTLPT I passed it when it was TOPT and I'm current

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    3. I'm a non-Spanish speaking person and our district is requiring us to be bilingually certified. I'm teaching 1st grade. I'm certified self-contained 1-8, ESL Supplemental 1-8, and Special Ed Supplemental 1-8. I'm planning to take Bilingual Supplemental. Is that enough if I pass it? It's very impossible for me to pass BTLPT. Please advise me

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  9. Hello! I am a little confused ... I am looking for information about how to be a Spanish Teacher.
    Yo hablo español y estoy investigando todas las alternativas posibles para desempeñarme como profesora de español,
    I have a Bachelor Degree and 3 years of experience working with children.
    Solo tengo 3 años en Texas, lo que significa que tengo 3 años practicando el ingles.
    Me parece bien interesante poder encontrar información a través de la experiencia de otros, gracias de antemano!


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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, Trabajo para un programa de "alternative certification." Puedo explicarete cómo ser maestro/maestra de español. Recomiendo Web-Centric Alternative Certification Program www.etools4education.com

      Si quieres "tutoring" para los exámenes de certificación, ofrezco tutoring para varios exámenes de "TExES."

      Puedes mandarme un email at courtneyschonefeld@hotmail.com

      I offer tutoring for various TExES exams and am happy to give advice about how to get certified. Please email me at courtneyschonefeld@hotmail.com

      Delete
  10. How long did it take to get the scores for the BTLPT? Do you remember? For most tests, I have gotten the tests really fast. Can you please tell me if you remember.

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    Replies
    1. It takes about 30 days. There are a few classmates waitin on their score.

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  11. I can't pass this darn test!

    It's frustrating. I have been a Bilingual teacher for 3 years in private school and am certified Bilingual in California (where I took a very similar test). No ptoblem. But the Texas test is INSANELY difficult.

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  12. Thank you for making me laugh! I'm about to register for the BTLPT. I am a native speaker but I was told to study. I have two weeks to take it so I'm going to hit the practice tests. Take Care

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