Friday, January 11, 2008

Speaking From the Gut

Excuse me for a few minutes while I get something off my chest...

If you are not in the educational field you probably are not familiar with the term "National Boards Certified Teacher." I talked about it a little here, but I don't think I've really discussed it much more since then. This is probably because for perhaps the first time in my life I am questioning whether or not I can do something. Just a bit of background about National is comprised of a portfolio that consists of four entries. One on writing, one social studies, one science with math focus, and finally a document of accomplishments. Each entry is very specific on what must be included. Two of the entries include videotaping and all of them must include student work with written commentaries. The complete commentaries include a piece on instructional context, planning and analysis, student work analysis, and reflection, and video recording analysis on the applicable entries. Of course the portfolio is just part of then have to go to an assessment center and take assessments in which you are given a situation and must address how you would teach a concept or meet a students needs. What do you get at the end? Basically you get the intrinsic reward of knowing that you reached a very prestigious stage in your career. The Board powers that be, call it being an "Accomplished Teacher." Oh year, I do get an 11% pay raise, but honestly...the money, for once, isn't doing it for me.

Why am I so nervous, you ask? Let me preface this by saying that I do not believe I have ever "failed" at something I have set my mind too. With that being said let me share some statistics with you...Only 50% of teachers pass their Board's on the first try!!! Yes, that would be half of the teachers who attempt this FAIL and that scares the crud out of me!!! Not to mention I have to pay $2500 to attempt to pass the first time and then whatever you don't pass you have to pay for again, which could be almost half of the $2500. AAAGGGHHH! I hate the idea of putting the money on a credit card, but that is really the only thing I can do. It will be okay if I pass, but it will even maximize my frustration if I don't pass.

Anyways, on Friday I was chatting with my mentor for this process and she admitted that she was nervous since I have not completed anything as of yet. Now if you know me in real life, one thing I am NOT, is a procrastinator. I have a pretty clear "get 'er done" attitude and it has been very frustrating for me to not be motivated to do just that. So this brings me to this post as I have been wondering what the heck is holding me back from tackling this. The only thing I can think is that I have never been presented with a situation that I have such a likely chance at failing at. Now granted most teachers receive their Board's the second time around, but I want it the first time around!!

So after spending some time deep in thought, spilling everything to Dave and one of my bestest friends, Lyn, and hearing that I am starting to worry my mentor, I have decided that now is the time and I am going to "Just Do It"! So my weekend has been spent typing away and I am happy to say that I most of Documented Accomplishments ready for review, my Writing entry ready to be finished in the classroom, and my social studies in progress. I feel that I have some thoughts together thank goodness. Really, I think now that I have started you won't stop me now!!

That doesn't mean though that I wouldn't appreciate every thought, prayer, or luck you can send my way!! For me and for my family. The next couple of months will probably be a bit hard on Dave as he covers for me and for the kids who have to be patient as I sit and type, type, and type some more. I CAN DO THIS!!!!


  1. Hey! I found your blog thru Musings of a Housewife. Love the cute graphics! I thought I'd share I feel for you. I am a 'retired' teacher. I taught for 18 years and left 4 years ago when I had my daughter. I went ahead and retired b/c I didn't know if I would go back to the classroom (middle school teacher btw). Well, this past summer I took the Elementary k-6 test on a whim and passed it. yeah! I had several friends take the boards here in FL. But many counties here actually pay for this for you. As long as you complete the whole task. Does your county do that? Just curious. Good luck!

  2. You CAN do it!!! I know you can. You're VERY smart and a great teacher. This will just be the icing on the cake. But, I'll throw in a few prayers too. Love, Aunt Steph

  3. oh gosh girl- if anyone can do this- it is YOU!

    Im so proud of you- all your accomplishments and without even stepping foot in your classroom, I know you are terrific teacher.

    So hop to it girl- I know you'll do a great job.

    love ya


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