The Road to National Board Certification

Hello, my name is Shanna and I’m a self-proclaimed masochist.

It’s true, though. I always try to do things the more difficult way because for some reason making things more difficult makes sense to me. My husband pointed this out to me a year ago and I’ve accepted it ever since. For example, recipes: one time I declined his compliment of how good something I made tasted because it wasn’t hard enough to make. Now, I know that’s just stupid. But that’s how I am.

Sometimes, doing the difficult things the difficult way does make sense. Like getting National Board-certified.

If you don’t know what National Board of Teacher Certification is, it is a year-long process in which a teacher videotapes him/herself, writes a bunch of papers, submits a portfolio, and takes a test. From what I’ve heard, it is the hardest thing a teacher will ever do and about 40 percent of people pass it the first time. If you’re like me, your inner achiever is drooling right now.

I have been waffling (ha, that’s a word) between doing this next school year instead of this upcoming school year, but I have some timeline issues with life stuff/husband’s job that may prevent me from having another year in the same school. So, if I would fail parts and need time to resubmit, I want to guarantee I’m going to be back the next year. Also, I just recently found out that the National Board is revising their process, and it won’t be ready to go until next year, so it will take me two years to finish no matter what.

Why am I doing this now, you ask?

1. I am holding back from doing a Master’s program right now. The one I have my eyes set on is thousands of miles away and is selective and expensive, so I’m just focusing on becoming a better teacher right now so I have a better chance of getting in.

2. Master’s program = $$$$$. Board cert. = $$$$. More cost-effective way to improve teaching, plus I can get six semester hours of Master’s credit if I certify. And, get this—Colorado reimburses the cost if you certify. Surprised? Me too.

3. I need the fire under my butt lit. It’s much easier to say, ‘I’ll work on improving my strategies this year, butterflies and rainbows!” but I am an incredibly extrinsically motivated type. I need to be able to say to myself “come on, Shanna, you’re paying a couple thousand bucks for this. Are you going to sit around watching Gilmore Girls* NOW?”

4. I need to get better at teaching. For my students and myself.

5. I just loooooove seeing myself on video camera. Not.

I notice that I’m a literally posting this the week school begins, and I am going to slapping myself in the face with a rubber chicken in some weird comedy bit, but the optimist in me is saying, “It’ll be worth it!” It will take a lot of time. It will be really difficult. I’ll need the support of all of you wonderful people. That’s why I love writing this blog; I get to hear advice and guidance from so many, and it truly means a lot. So here we go. Can’t wait to bring you all on this journey with me.

*I think my husband is happy there’s going to be a little less Gilmore Girls watching.

-S

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