This weekend teachers across the country received news of whether they achieved or didn't achieve National Board certification. It has a been a long journey for some and a longer journey ahead for others.
The National Board process usually starts in the summer with diving into the standards and planning for the upcoming year. The school year starts and the process gets into full swing. The hardest part of the process (for me) was writing down what I did naturally every day and why I did it. Becoming a NBCT was the most reflective process I have ever gone through. Writing reflectively was difficult and not something that I was used to doing. The process made me a better teacher.
For those you achieved this year, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Make sure to celebrate with your family and friends because this is a wonderful accomplishment. I felt like my family and friends needed a present afterwards because they were there to support me through the long hours away from them. They took up the slack when I needed time to work on my portfolios. I couldn't have done it without any of them.
For those of you who will achieve next year: My heart goes out to you. I remember the disappointment two years ago when the scores were released. I missed achieving by ONE point. I cried and had my pity party. My husband was wonderful and there to support me. Then I got back on that horse and redid one of my entries. I looked really hard at what I wrote the first time and why it wasn't enough. It all came back to that reflective writing. Why was what I was teaching important and relevant to those students at that time? I redid the entry and waited until November again. This time I achieved. I was in my office at school when the scores came out and I started jumping up and down. The other literacy coach in the office came over and gave me hug. It was one of the best moments in my life. So remember, IT WILL HAPPEN! YOU CAN DO THIS!
Update: A wonderful extra of living in Arkansas is that NBCTs get a bonus check from the state each year. This is my second year to receive the check and it came in the mail today. Makes for a very exciting ending to the day!