The PPR is the final test in your journey to becoming certified to teach in the state of Texas. Choosing the right teacher training program that will prepare you for this test is critical, since passage of it is required in order to become licensed.
The PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) exam is “designed to assess whether a test taker has the requisite knowledge and skills that an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools must possess,” according to the Texas Education Agency.
The best teacher training programs incorporate preparation for this test into their curriculum and offer review courses so that you are fully prepared to successfully answer the questions on this exam.
It’s important when evaluating teacher preparation programs that you consider whether the curriculum and design of the program set you up for the best possible success during the last hurdle to fulfilling your dreams. Here’s what the best teacher training programs do to prepare you for the PPR.
A Full Circle Approach
For many aspiring teachers, the best path to earning their teaching license involves enrolling in an alternative teacher certification program. This alternate route allows those who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or have met other work experience criteria) to complete the necessary training to become certified to teach.
ECAP’s alternative teacher certification process includes training, testing and teaching. Interns successfully complete all three components simultaneously since they are all essential for success.
This full circle approach allows interns to complete a program more quickly while utilizing the knowledge they gain in each area to succeed in one of the other areas. For example, think of an intern’s journey as one that includes three teaching rings: training, testing and teaching. In one school year, a teaching intern will need to complete 300 hours of training, a pedagogy exam and teaching experience.
As an intern moves closer to completing each area, which can be done simultaneously, the ring begins to close.
In other words, the proper preparation and coursework for the pedagogy exam will also help an intern meet the requirements of fulfilling the required hours of training and teaching experience.
Help With Your Timeline
Although the PPR is one of your final steps you take in your journey to become certified in the state of Texas, your timeline leading up to this step is just as important.
Knowing when you must take what test and what courses can be a substantial amount of information to digest. The best teacher training courses will make sure you are on the right path and taking the correct classes, test preparation courses and exams in the right order so that your journey is not delayed.
A Combination Of Online And In-Person Training
Online training has a lot of perks. It is provides convenience not only for when you schedule to do your coursework, but also doesn't limit where you are located in the state.
Online learning helps you improve your technical skills as well, which you can use to your advantage once you get into your own classroom.
Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of online training is the comfortable learning environment it offers. Whether you enjoy studying in your pajamas or at the local coffee shop, online learning offers a lot of flexibility.
However, strictly online programs have drawbacks. There are some benefits you simply cannot get through online coursework, such as those that are provided through face-to-face contact. Without in-person training, you can miss out on important opportunities to network and develop professional connections that can help you later.
In-person training can also allow you greater access to instructors, who can answer any questions you have in real time so that you don’t have to wait for a response by email. Programs that offer a test preparation curriculum, like ECAP, will provide practice test answers in real time as well.
The best teacher training programs will offer test preparation as part of their curriculum … not as costly add-ons.
For the PPR specifically, training should include:
Exploring types of questions that will appear on the PPR
Analyzing common mistakes made when taking the PPR, including the competencies where many interns struggle
An overview of best practices and techniques
A full-length practice exam with on-site grading
While preparing for your PPR can feel overwhelming, the best alternative teacher certification programs will offer you a high-quality curriculum throughout the entire program, from the moment you enter training to throughout your test preparation.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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