Welcome to the Teacher’s Toolbox!

Welcome to the Teacher’s Toolbox, a site designed to help pre-service educators prepare for their certification exams and future classrooms.  The resources available here are reflective of these exams as well as of the knowledge and skills you’ll someday share with your own students.  If you have any questions about or suggestions for the content of this site, please email me (Dr. Allison Speicher; speichera@easternct.edu) or stop by my office (Webb 245) during office hours.  If there’s anything I can do to help you prepare for certification or your future as a teacher, please be in touch!

Happy studying!

Introduction to the Toolbox

Glossary of Literary Terms: Not sure how narrative poetry is different from lyric poetry?  Can’t tell the difference between an essay and an epistle? Learn these 90 key terms and never wonder again.

Understanding Literary History: Having trouble sorting out all the different periods, movements, and authors you’ve studied over the years at Eastern?  These study sheets will help you to contextualize all that information.

Close Reading: A Refresher: Your professors ask to you perform close readings all the time, but when was the last time you actually thought about the steps a close reading entails?  Complete this refresher course and close-read with confidence.

Critical Practices: We all read differently, and sometimes we even do it on purpose, by drawing on a variety of schools of literary theory.  Not sure how a New Critical reading would look different from a psychoanalytic one? Read on.

Grammar Review: Your certification exams not only expect you to be able to identify proper and improper usage, but also to know the difference between a conjunction and a preposition, a compound sentence and a complex one.  Feel your palms sweating already?  Fear not, but start reviewing!

Modes of Writing: Soon, you’ll be teaching your students to write all kinds of stuff, from persuasive essays to personal narratives to book reports.  Your certification exams will ask you to identify differences between different modes of writing (narrative, expository, persuasive, etc.), so it might be time to brush up.

A Note for Students Seeking Elementary Certification:

You can learn a lot more about the Reading and Language Arts subtest you’ll have to pass to earn your teaching certification on the Praxis website.  In addition to reviewing the ETS study materials carefully, you should study notes from your education classes, being sure you know things like the best practices for teaching ELL students and the stages of literacy development.  You should also review notes from any English classes you’ve taken.  Finally, I recommend reviewing the following sections of this website: Glossary of Literary Terms, Close Reading, Grammar Review, and Modes of Writing.

A Note for Students Seeking Secondary Certification:

You can learn a lot more about the English Language Arts: Content and Analysis exam on the Praxis website.  In addition to reviewing the ETS study materials carefully, you should study notes from your education classes, being sure you know things like the best practices for teaching ELL students, writing, and public speaking.  You should also review notes from any English classes you’ve taken.  Finally, I recommend reviewing the following sections of this website: Glossary of Literary Terms, Understanding Literary History, Close Reading, Critical Practices, Grammar Review, and Modes of Writing.