So, remember how I told you that I finished my National Board paperwork? Well, I did finish the paperwork. All 90 pages of it. Seriously. Ninety pages. And the two 15-minute videos of my teaching. But.....I'm not done yet.
To achieve national board certification, a teacher must submit clear, concise, and convincing evidence of their accomplished teaching. In addition, they must also take a 4 hour assessment. The questions span the whole age range of their certificate area. For instance, I am attempting to certify in Early-Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading/Language Arts. This area spans ages 3-12 years old. This last school year, I taught 4th grade and my 90 pages of evidence and 2 videos represent only 4th grade. Now, I must go to the assessment center and take the 4 hour test to prove I know the content for students below and above my current grade level.
I do have experience in the other age ranges. I taught 2nd grade for two years. I taught a preschool/kindergarten class for three years. And, I did my student teaching in a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1st through 6th. It's just that those assignments were so long ago, since I've been in 4th grade for five years.
I feel calmly confident. Not-over-the-top confident, but I-can-do-this confident. There is a wonderful group on Yahoo Groups which has resources and practice prompts for the assessment. I have been reading books non-stop (ok, so I'm using NB as an excuse to sit and read). And I've been tapping into the great strategies I have learned over the years from amazing teachers/mentors. I can do this.
So, if you find yourself thinking of me this week, say a little prayer. My assessment is Friday. In Tucson. Which means I'll be leaving Thursday to drive down. My prayer through the entire process has been:
Bless the work of my hands.