Meghan Oliver didn’t always want to be a teacher. But her passion for wildlife and experience working with wild birds and recommending books to children helped her realize that teaching was a perfect fit.

Her career path, she said, has been “anything but linear.”When Meghan graduated from college with the dream of pursuing journalism, “The field started to change,” she recalled. "Newspaper jobs were hard to come by, things went online.” And, she added, sitting at a desk all day was mentally painful.

During her time as a journalist, though, she met many people who were extremely happy in their work. They seemed to be able to be completely engaged and in the moment at work, something she struggled with. Engaged and in the moment was what she wanted from her career. “That was important,” she said.

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Becoming a teacher isn’t as simple as passing a test (and we’re glad it’s not!), but there is one test you simply have to pass: the Praxis Core. People ask us a lot of questions about this infamous standardized test: What is it? Why do I have to take it? What do I do if I don’t pass? Although nothing but studying can help you pass the test, there are a few basics that are good to understand.

What is the Praxis Core?

The Praxis Core (formerly known as simply “ Praxis I”) is a basic skills test all aspiring teachers in New Hampshire and most other states in the U.S., including the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa (fun fact!), must pass in order to earn certification. There are three components: Reading, writing and math. You must pass all three in order to be fully admitted to UVEI’s teacher certification program.

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You’ve always thought about teaching. You have a career right now that’s, well, fine, but teaching has always been in the back of your mind. The appeal of teaching is not hard to imagine: teaching makes a difference in kids’ lives. Sounds cliche? It’s not.  

But it’s natural to worry about what such a career change can mean for you and your family. It can seem unrealistic or risky. If you want to quit your job to pursue teaching, but you’re afraid of the unknowns, here are a few pieces of advice.

Acknowledge That Your Current Job Doesn’t Bring You Joy

Although American workers are happier than they have been in years, many still struggle to find joy and meaning in work. It’s not uncommon to begin a career (or a second or third) and realize a few years later that it’s just not the kind of work that will sustain you over time. Although making a change can seem daunting and scary, the scarier choice is staying in a job that doesn’t bring you happiness.

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