I know this blog is normally more about the kids and our family, but I just have to take minute to share something very exciting. After much blood, sweat and tears (well actually, probably just sweat and tears), I passed my National Board Certification for teaching!!!!
About a year and a half ago, I found out that several teachers were going to try to go for their board certification. This had always been a goal of mine and I had actually gone to a meeting about it before Mia was even born. At that point it I was burned out since I had just finished my Masters Degree and needed some time off. This time though, knowing so many others were doing it and that I would have that for motivation and a built in support system, was a very good incentive for me to go for it. That and the fact that the state was willing to subsidize $2000 of the $2500 fee. :) I made the somewhat impulsive decision to do it and started my journey.
When the 2009-2010 school year started, I was forced to dive right in. It was an overwhelming, stressful, but very rewarding process that I know has improved my teaching. A lot of people have asked me what the process consists of. In a nutshell you have to complete 4 portfolio entries, 2 in which you videotape yourself teaching and have to reflect on your teaching. These entries require you to be very analytical about your teaching and to do a LOT of writing and reflecting. This is a pretty simplistic explanation seeing that these entries took a ton of work and a ton of time to complete. It is also a good idea to have other National Board Certified teachers review your work to give you feedback. I was lucky to have several wonderful, helpful people to critique my work and give me ideas on how to improve it. I had until March 31st to complete the portfolio and then it was time to focus on the test. The test contained 6 essay question in which you had 30 minutes to complete each one in a highly guarded-intense test taking facility (they did palm scans-pretty crazy!). I took the test right before school ended at the end of May.
The worst part of it all was spending practically a year doing all that work and then not being able to find out until November. Since there is so much content to grade and they want it to be as fair and unbiased as possible, it took that long for all the applicants work to be scored. Scores were released the week before Thanksgiving and I can tell you that I was shaking logging into the computer to see if I made it. I am happy to say I did!! I also am appreciative to my friends and family for listening to my whining throughout the year, my coworkers for being part of the journey with me, and especially Cort, who spent LARGE amounts of time with the kids while I was glued to the computer working on my portoflio. THANK YOU ALL!! I couldn't have done it without you. :)
Terrible pics, but here is me the day I mailed off my portfolio. It was terrifying to let go of all of that work, and pray that it arrived safely (of course I made copies!!!). This is me and the infamous blue box.