nbct

The Road to National Board Certification: Taking a Detour

Hey y’all–It’s been awhile! Too long. Recently, I’ve had some questions about getting board-certified and how that’s going. Today I want to share my updates on National Board Certification and how it’s going (or not going).

During my last post, I shared my current results and concerns about how this year’s certification process may look for me. There are two more components I need to complete, and I did not feel confident that I could do them well this year. My main goal this year is to enjoy teaching because lately I hadn’t been doing that. In an effort to simplify, I decided to take a hiatus. Finishing National Board Certification, I found out, can be put off a year if I needed. I contacted National Board and asked them if I needed to start a new component this year, and I didn’t need to—as long as I wasn’t already registered for the cycle, which I wasn’t. I’m so glad that they have this option!!

I’m currently reading through Components 3 and 4 again to refresh on what I should plan for next  year. I feel fortunate to get to attempt certification over the course of a few years instead of all in one. Shout out to the NBCT Facebook group created by Jennifer Gonzalez—y’all are inspiring me with all of your posts and questions! I can’t imagine trying to squeeze it all in one year.

Here’s ‘another update: I finally bit the bullet and applied to grad school. Literally hit the “send” button on my application today. More detailed update if, you know, they let me in.

As for school, here’s a couple snapshots of this week from some students (can you tell the end of the year is definitely getting to them??):

1.Me: “You know the best way the look creepy to people is if you wear black latex gloves around, right?” To a student wearing black latex gloves “for fun.”

2. Student trying to convince me to let him leave class early via freestyle and juuuuuust missing the mark, much like Jean Ralphio:

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.29.23 PMClick here because wordpress apparently doesn’t let you insert videos for free anymore…smh.

 

Only a few more weeks left—we’re all doing out best to keep it together.

-S

 

Finding Motivation Before Winter Break

It is 11:30 (p.m.) on a Saturday night, and I’m thinking about teaching. I’m thinking about how last week was more downs than ups, but the ups helped me rationalize that maybe I can survive (the next two days). I’m thinking about how Monday and Tuesday are going to be long and probably reincarnations of last week (I’m not sure what our district was thinking when they decided to end the semester on a Tuesday). I’m thinking about how achieving National Board certification could be less than a year away from me, and then what? I’m thinking about a conversation I had with my friend today who is in law school and is working for a clinic as a public defender intern. She inspired me that people are still fighting the good fight and that it’s possible to change things, if only one case at a time. I’m thinking about what teaching strategies I’m starting to get better at, and just wrapping my head around what works. I’m thinking about the goals I have for myself and my students and reflecting on how I lose sight of them under the weight of the usual suspects: exhaustion, pressure, annoyance, and time.

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The Road to National Board Certification: Scores Are In

I received an email a couple months ago from the National Board that I swear said “Your results will be available on Saturday, November 5th.” I swear. And then when I kept refreshing my email as I was on a little vacay with my husband, I never saw any scores. I searched for the email, and it was gone. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not that crazy. Nor did I really care, as I was on the fence about continuing certifying anyway.

Then, a couple days ago, I got another email that said I would be receiving my scores on December 10th. I was expecting this email to disappear too, because at this point with National Board, they have no deadlines for themselves. I opened my email up this morning to see an email from them that redirected me to my account, and saw that I received a 3.4 for Component 1 and a 2.0 for Component 2. To retake, I would need anything 1.75 and under. So, I guess I passed those two components. I was relieved to see a little validation that I didn’t bomb anything, and now I’m thinking “damn. Maybe I should try to finish the other two this year since I actually have a chance to pass.”

Let me air my frustration with this process, and with my current situation. Component 4 was just released in November, so I’m not behind so much with that because they just released it (and released it later than they said they would–see above about deadlines). Also they require me to pay yet another 75.00 “registration fee” when there is no way I could even do the registration in one year because 2/4 parts weren’t available yet. Since I’m getting no financial support from my school district or the almighty State of Colorado for this, I’m not exactly jumping at the opportunity for paid masochism. Frustration 3 is the phantom Component 5, which is: “we make it as hard as possible with our website and online platforms, and zip files of zip files with directions all over the place, and you have to show that you can even find the directions—if we even give them to you.” It is  disorganized and there has just got to be a way to make everything more user-friendly. They are transitioning to a new certification process, but boy are they making everything harder than it needs to be for everyone else.

So you can see why I’m feeling ‘meh’ about the whole thing. I question each day whether I’ll keep teaching, my husband just got a job as an attending doctor which would allow for me to pursue other things in a financially safe way, and I have to say that not worrying about boards has given me time to just enjoy teaching and try to salvage what I started teaching for.

However.

To have the title of NBCT would be propelling my career in a way that nothing else could right now (well, maybe a Master’s program but do you have 15000 lying around that I can have? No?  😦 ) I’ve been validated by the first two components, so there’s a pretty good chance I’d certify this year if I buckle down. And I wouldn’t have basically thrown away 900.00. Also, if I don’t submit the rest of the components, I would have to do the whole thing over again and I do not want to go take that test or write those analyses all over again.

So, I’m eliciting the advice of the internet: NBCTs out there–what would you do?

In other  news, Winter Break is about a week a way and ol’ Michael Scott says it best:

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