Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Official I'm a National Board Certified Teacher Candidate

Well, it's official.  I'm a candidate for National Board Certification.  I got the official letter in the mail that I've been cleared to test.  I think there's something like 4 tests...ouch!

I've been working on it since this time last year with a pre-candidacy class and a summer institute.  Participating in these two things allowed me to get a scholarship from the AZ K-12 center that covers the entire cost of becoming Nationally Board Certified.  ($2,565!!!)  I never would have been able to do it without this scholarship.  I'm thankful for the AZ K-12 Center.  They've been amazing and so supportive.

There are 7 of us going through this process in our district this year all at the elementary school.  (We're really small, less than 500 kids.)  Apparently, it's a pretty big deal articles in the paper and such.  We'll see how many of us actually achieve national board status.   It's extremely rigorous.

 I'm not gonna lie.  I really was hoping something would come up and they'd find a reason to not allow me to do it because it is SO much work.  However, now that I've gotten official word I can move full steam ahead without that hope holding me back.

I have to plan and videotape some pretty extensive lessons in integrating science and math and also in social studies.  I also have to analyze multiple writing assignments from a couple students and discuss my involvement as a leader, learner, and collaborator.

Ugh.  It honestly is the most work I've ever done over the course of the year EVER.  Its something like 40+ type written pages, even more supporting documentation, and two 15 minute videos.  Crazy!

I'm planning a Civil rights/Martin Luther King Jr./Civil War unit for my social studies lessons to be taken from.  Last year our whole civil rights/civil war unit was a huge success and it really got my students thinking.  I'm hoping this year is no different and I'll have a lot of videos to choose from.

I've had a much harder time with science.  I've had a ton of ideas, but haven't been able to get one worked out in my head.  A co-worker of mine who used to teach 3rd grade helped me track down some things to maybe do something with fast growing plants.  I think it's going to work, but it's going to take a lot of preparation on my part.

Are any of you teachers?  Are you nationally board certified?  How did you do?  Anyone have any great ideas for a civil rights unit or integrating math and science unit with third graders?

I'd LOVE to hear your ideas or have you point me in the direction of some amazing third grade ideas whether they'd help me towards National Board or not.

Sorry to write about this completely random piece of my life... but it's taking up a lot of my brain capacity right now and many of my "free" hours.  Also, I'm 6 for 6 (just in case you hadn't been paying attention).  

Have you not been keeping up with my blogging every day?  Be sure to enter my "Happy 104th post" thank-you giveaway. 


Gretchen said...

Thanks for the update. I was wondering what this was all about and now I know (at least a little more). I have never heard about this before, but I'm totally impressed with you that you're taking this on. I'm intimidated just trying to make it through this semester of school!

Liz said...

I have a good friend who went through that process last year. He also teaches third grade. It seemed like a TON of work but he passed in the end. Good luck!

Mom said...

Co gags, Erika! I have some awesome science lessons that would video tape well. Let me know.

Mom said...

Co gags was supposed to be congrats...stupid auto correct.