The Road to National Board Certification Part 3: Reality Check

I once had 35 corks. Then my husband issued the “if you don’t do the crafting you planned on doing 8 months ago then I will destroy them” ultimatum.

I’ll just come out and say it—October is the worst month. But you probably already knew this.

Anyway, I had a whirlwind of a week last week with parent/teacher conferences and a class for NB cert. thrown into the mix. With all the things I should be doing right now, I hit the brakes to write to all you lovelies because I’m trying to do this whole reflective thing and it requires me to not just go home, hit the play button on Netflix, and drink a big ol’ beverage. Good thing I’m taking my own advice. 

As I sat in a classroom with about 10 other educators last week in hopes of preparing for National Board Certification, I had two realizations:

  1. Some of these teachers have been teaching for (almost) as many years as I’ve been alive.
  2. I am most definitely, without a doubt, the least experienced person in the room. (hhahah accidentally typed “most” instead of “least” the first time and almost left it there for the comedy)

As we spoke about the component we should be working on, I’m not the only one who was clueless for sure, but boy did I get intimidated. Some teachers already know exactly which students they will write about; I however, am struggling to even understand the scope of what I’m supposed to do. Heck–I am still figuring out how to do simple things like write good rubrics.

I’m freakin’ out, y’all. Did I jump into something I shouldn’t have even signed up for? I am just now seeing how difficult it will all be and that it’s quite possible I could fail this thing this year. I am realizing I don’t like to follow my own rules on growth mindset and I have fallen into the trap of “not good enough” instead of “not yet.” Last week was humbling; many times I think that I am really good at stuff and then I remember I’m not very good at a lot of stuff–yet.

I can already see the shift in my teaching day by day from using the National Board standards. I’m thinking about how to adjust my planning based on what feedback my students need. I’m always trying to remind myself to teach students “how” to think instead of “what” to think. I’m also realizing that to be good at teaching requires so much more than the “9-5” “this is a job” mentality. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the reactiveness of teaching instead of the intention and the thoughtfulness. Sometimes I forget that this job is deceptively difficult and wonder if I’ll ever feel competent.

With National Board, I can’t say whether or not I will even certify halfway this year. I am welcoming this challenge and am looking to connect with anyone who has done Adolescent Young Adult (9-12) Language Arts certification because I have some questions about component 2.

In addition to this, I have an exciting article that will be published on a teaching website that I’m soooo pumped about! Stay tuned.





  1. Just started my NBCT journey today (Exceptional Needs) and I’m overwhelmed and excited all at the same time! Excited to follow your blog in this process!

      1. Best of luck!! Components three and four look even more difficult. I am taking a year off with and will maybe complete the process next year. I’ll definitely check your blog out!

  2. Just started my NBCT journey today! Thankful to be doing it with a pretty big cohort for sure! It’s so exciting – yet totally freaking me out all at the same time! Looking forward to following your blog!

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